If you can remember as far back as your teenage years, you are a teenager, or you are the lucky parent of one, you’ll probably agree that those are trying times. Emotions run high and self-esteem can become low – something we see a lot of when it comes to young adults with misaligned teeth.
Many parents and friends of teenagers will spend this month helping a young adult celebrate their graduation/liberation from high school or college, while others join us for an equally important, month-long celebration of National Teen Self-Esteem Month.
This annual celebration was initiated by I Am Worth More, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Self-Esteem Month is designed to increase awareness of the importance of teens having a positive outlook on life and themselves, as well as encouraging others to discover new ways to be active in improving the lives and self-esteem of our next generation.
An alarming 90 percent of fourth to eighth-graders report being victims of bullying and more than 160,000 adolescents miss school every day out of fear of attack or intimidation from peers, according to the National Education Association.
Reasons for insecurity can be anything from physical looks and intelligence, to social class and race.
One self-esteem knocker we are all too familiar with at Orthodontics Only is misaligned teeth and bite issues. This insecurity is especially prominent among teenagers. We hear many sad stories from our adolescent patients who were bullied when they were young and have slowly drifted into a reclusive lifestyle, as they are no longer confident enough to smile or risk being in a situation that would lead them to smile broadly and reveal features that make them self-conscious.
We pride ourselves in providing quality treatment using quality products and offering options for every lifestyle and budget. Our clear braces in Miami are perfect for those who want straight teeth without the look of braces.
It’s a shame to think some parents and patients will suffer through their oral insecurities when we are more than happy to work with them to develop a treatment plan that is affective and affordable.
Braces for Every Lifestyle
The following styles of braces are available at Orthodontics Only. Keep in mind that each patient’s case is unique and there is a possibility that certain appliances won’t be suitable for your teen.
Traditional Metal Braces
These aren’t the metal “train tracks” of years past. Today’s “brackets” are much smaller and known for the customizable colored elastics used to anchor the arch wire (horizontal wire used to straighten teeth).
Ceramic and Clear Braces
Clear and ceramic brackets are larger than metal braces, but because of their color – or lack thereof- are a bit more inconspicuous. The downside is they are susceptible to stains from certain foods and beverages and are more fragile, even though we use only the highest quality materials. I have visited the facility that manufactures our ceramic and clear braces, which is located in a German town close to where Porsche automobiles are manufactured.
Invisalign Teen – Invisible Braces
Invisalign Teen is a tooth aligning system that utilizes a series of clear removable aligners. Each aligner – similar to an ultrathin mouthguard – is worn for two weeks at a time, then replaced with the next set of aligners in the series. This process moves teeth little by little, according to a plan co-created by Invisalign and me. Invisalign’s removability means you don’t have to change your diet and can maintain your normal oral hygiene routine. Invisalign is also a good option for those who play sports, as there are no sharp brackets that can become dislodged or lacerate sensitive oral tissue.
Self-Ligating Braces Move Teeth Faster
Self-ligating braces utilize brackets that self encase the arch wire, eliminating the need for elastic “colored” ties. Because the friction and pressure caused by elastic ties is eliminated, so is much of the discomfort associated with orthodontic treatment. Teeth also move faster with self-ligating systems.
Although you may have witnessed orthodontic patients wearing gold tone braces or brackets in unique shapes like stars and basketballs, you won’t find them here. Our main goal is to provide your teen with treatment that is successful, efficient and maintains or improves their oral health. One way we do that is by using top quality appliances. At this time, we have not identified appliances in these styles that are of a quality standard we feel comfortable offering our patients.
Braces aren’t the only tool we have to improve your smile. Orthodontic appliances such as palatal expanders or a Herbst appliance can be used (depending on your age) to widen and lengthen your jaw to a size that flatters your face and provides room to straighten your teeth.
Even teens who are most eager to have straight, beautiful teeth have concerns before undergoing orthodontic treatment. Here are the answers to a few of our patient’s most commonly asked pretreatment questions:
Can I still play sports with braces?
There’s no reason why shouldn’t maintain activities that make you happy while undergoing orthodontic treatment. We just ask that you wear a proper fitting mouthguard to prevent lacerations to your oral tissue and damage to the appliance, which can add weeks or months to your total treatment time.
How long will I have to wear braces?
Orthodontic treatment usually lasts one to three years. However, it is always determined on a case-by-case basis. Each patient’s needs are different and factors such as the amount and type of change required, your age, health and compliance can affect treatment length.
Will my teeth stay straight forever?
Teeth have a tendency to move for the rest of your life and are especially apt to shift immediately following treatment –that’s why we provide you with a retainer. Retainers don’t necessarily shift teeth back into alignment, but merely assist to “retain” it. We typically bond a passive wire to the tongue side of the bottom incisors – a fixed retainer – to be worn indefinitely.
For your upper teeth, a custom retainer will be created and will need to be worn every night following treatment.
What foods do I have to avoid while wearing braces?
Braces work by applying consistent, guided pressure to teeth. When an arch wire becomes bent or a bracket dislodged, treatment is compromised or ceases altogether until the damage is fixed. For this reason, you should avoid foods that are excessively hard, chewy or sticky, as interrupted treatment can add months to your overall treatment time. Examples of foods to avoid include:
- Corn chips
- Corn on the cob
Those who just can’t see giving up ribs, corn and caramels are in luck if they are eligible for Invisalign Teen. You can eat whatever you want while undergoing Invisalign treatment since your aligners can be removed to eat and clean your teeth as normal.
Call today for a consultation for you or your teen and we will discuss treatments that will turn your smile into one you’ll be proud to show off. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what our patients have to say about Orthodontics Only.