Orthodontics for Teens
Braces, retainers, and everything else that you want to know about orthodontics!
Braces! What now?
You've just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!” Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
- Early treatment — Early treatment allows your orthodontist to improve the position of your jaws and teeth before all of your adult teeth come in. Everyone does not receive early orthodontic treatment, but if you do, you will need braces again once all of your adult teeth come in to get a perfect smile. If you don't need early treatment, then you will only need braces one time.
- What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed in order to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 16 months to complete their treatment, it may take another patient 36 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect. Most treatment times are around 24 months.
- YOU! — Your willingness to wear the elastics your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!
Braces Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:
- Clear ceramic braces
- Invisalign treatment
- Traditional metal braces
What can I eat while wearing braces?
You've probably heard from your parents, friends, and even your orthodontist, the long list of foods and beverages that you should avoid while wearing braces and while it may seem like you're giving up a lot, it is important to avoid eating certain foods. We also want you to enjoy your braces experience, so here's a quick list of foods to avoid and foods that you can eat while wearing braces.
Foods to avoid while wearing braces:
- Chewy foods - bagels, granola bars
- Crunchy foods - popcorn, hard chips
- Sticky foods - caramel candies, licorice, gummy bears, hard chewing gum
- Hard foods - nuts, hard candy, suckers, ice, raw vegetables
- Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Limit drinks high in sugar such as pop, energy drinks, Gatorade, fruit juice
Foods you CAN eat while wearing braces:
- Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts
- Grains - pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables - mashed potatoes, steamed or shredded vegetables
- Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit cut into small pieces
- Treats - ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake, chocolate
- Sugar free sticks of chewing gum are okay and can actually decrease discomfort after an orthodontic adjustment. Ask us which gum we recommend when you visit us!
- Drinks- water, white milk, sugar free flavored drinks (watch out for diet pop, it has a lot of acid which causes cavities)
Braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.