Orthodontic braces have really come a long way. Gone are the days of headgear and chunky metal braces – today’s options are sleeker, less painful and more discreet. When it comes time for your teen to get braces, here are some of the best options to consider.
Traditional Metal Braces
While traditional, metal braces have come a long way since their invention. They are more lightweight and thinner than they used to be, making them much less embarrassing for teens needing braces.
Today’s metal braces are made from metal brackets connected by a thin wire; Each bracket is attached to a tooth. The wire is connected to the brackets using ligatures which come in a variety of colors. This ups the appeal for teens, as they can change the colors to represent upcoming holidays, their school colors, etc.
Metal braces aren’t the most obvious aesthetically, but they’re the most flexible and economical.
Ceramic braces are basically the same as traditional metal braces, except for one key difference: the brackets. Instead of being a shiny metal, they’re a transparent ceramic, making them blend in with the teeth.
While less noticeable, they’re still not invisible, as the archwire connecting the brackets is still metal.
This option is more expensive and can stain, but is one to consider if your teen is self-conscious about full metal braces.
Lingual braces are similar in structure to traditional braces, except the brackets are attached to the back of the teeth.
Teens love this option because they’re not noticeable, but they can be pricey. In addition, not all orthodontists offer this option and even if they do, treatment can take longer.
Invisalign is the newest method of straightening your teen’s smile. It’s a clear, plastic mouthpiece that fits tightly over the teeth and slowly moves them into place. They are replaced every 2 weeks.
This is the least noticeable option for braces, though if you look closely you can still tell there is something there. Another perk is that they’re removable, which teens love (especially on picture day!).
While there are many perks, Invisalign is also the most expensive option, and since it’s removable, you also run the risk of your teen not wearing it enough to do its job.
Teens needing braces is no longer cause for anxiety (at least not for the teens!). Today’s options are so much better than they were in the past; There is sure to be one that’s perfect for your budget and your teen.