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Does Your Teen Need Braces? Here Are the Options

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Your teen may not be happy to learn he or she needs braces. Teens often go through a self-conscious phase when they are overly concerned with their appearance, and the idea of wearing braces can be unsettling. It's hard for a teen to appreciate the long-term payoff of healthy teeth and a beautiful smile as an adult. Instead, your child is probably more worried about how they'll survive wearing braces in high school. Fortunately, braces aren't nearly as bulky as they once were. Your teen won't have to worry about having a mouth full of metal. Here are some of the options available.

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal braces have been used for decades. They are the traditional choice and they are suitable for all types of dental corrections. Metal braces are much thinner today and the parts come in different colors, which makes them more appealing to teens. Metal braces have brackets that fit over the teeth. The brackets are attached to wires and bands that undergo periodic adjustments to bring the teeth into alignment. The downside to metal braces is that they are the most visible option. However, if your child can choose the band colors, it may make wearing these braces more tolerable.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made in a very similar way to metal braces. The difference is that the brackets and wires are not made of metal. Instead, the brackets are made from clear or white material that blends in with your teen's teeth. The wires can be either gray or white. Although the braces are visible, since they blend in with the teeth, they aren't as noticeable as metal braces. One type of ceramic braces is self-ligating, so they don't use elastic bands that need adjusting. This could mean you'll have fewer dental visits during the treatment period. Because the braces have fewer parts, they may be more comfortable for your teen to wear once they've become accustomed to the braces.

Aligner Trays

Clear aligner trays could be the best option for your teen. These are clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Your teen will wear a series of trays that gradually bring the teeth into alignment. The trays are nearly invisible, and best of all, they can be removed for special occasions and while eating. Aligner trays are the most convenient type of braces to wear, but they aren't suitable for all types of dental problems. Also, while the trays can be removed for short periods of time, they need to be worn for most of the day and at night while sleeping. These braces won't work if your teen takes them out while at school or when going on dates. Plus, since they are removable, there is a risk of losing one of the trays, which will be costly to replace.

When deciding what type of braces to use for your teen, the first step is to talk to an orthodontist, like one from Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics. While there are a few options available, they may not all be suitable for the type of dental work your child needs. If your child has several options, it may come to a matter of what your child prefers since the options have a similar price. A typical cost of metal braces without insurance is around $5000, while an average cost of ceramic braces is about $4500, and the cost of aligner trays is about $5000. However, keep in mind that the price of braces varies considerably depending on the condition of your child's teeth and how long the treatment period lasts.