Teenagers often don’t want orthodontic treatments, but they want the results they can offer. Whether you go with traditional braces (perhaps in non-traditional colors), the Damon System or Invisalign, orthodontics today are nothing like what you remember from childhood. “Brace face” is no more, largely thanks to the geek chic movement that made functional items like glasses and braces not just acceptable, but even desirable.
Of course, the real beauty of orthodontics won’t be seen until the treatment is complete. This can take anywhere from one to two years in most cases, which can seem like forever to teens. However, it’s only a few months of wearing braces in exchange for a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth. A better smile has been linked to higher self-esteem and even better job prospects. In other words, your teen will have a winning smile before he or she starts interviewing for college slots.
Here are the biggest reasons teens shy away from orthodontics, and why those fears are unfounded:
- Braces look bad. Orthodontics can look like anything you want—they can even be invisible with Invisalign. Classic braces are more discreet than ever, and come in every color imaginable. Teens can swap out bands at any given visit, and with the Teen Invisalign system, they get up to six free replacements (so parents don’t have to worry).
- They hurt. Orthodontics can be uncomfortable, but not any more so than an in-depth cleaning. Some teens report discomfort while others don’t. If your teen is worried about pain, a simple anti-inflammatory over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen will do the trick. In some cases, a cold compress after the appointment can also help.
- Food will get stuck in there. That can happen without orthodontics, too — in fact, it’s more common in gapped teeth, which orthodontics can help address. Invisalign allows you to remove the orthodontic tray while eating, and your orthodontist will go over how to perform proper oral care with orthodontics. Some teens like to carry a travel toothbrush with them for after-meal care, which is a good habit for anyone to follow.
- It takes too long. Every orthodontic treatment is different, but it’s not common for it to last more than two years. However, bear in mind that unaligned teeth are forever without orthodontics. Very few people regret orthodontics, but many wish they would have had treatment sooner.
- They smell. Anyone’s mouth will smell if it’s not cleaned properly. Some patients like to use water picks instead of flossing, since it can be difficult with orthodontics. However, a persistent smell in the mouth is a red flag no matter what — see your dentist immediately. It might be an easy-to-solve issue that has nothing to do with orthodontics.
Contact Johnson Elite Orthodontics for a free consultation, whether for your teen, yourself or another member of your family.