Orthodontics for Teenagers
Orthodontic Treatment for Teenagers
Most people associate braces with being a teenager. It’s typically the most common time for children/teenagers to begin Orthodontic treatment and begin wearing braces. Treatment options and technology have come a long way in recent years to make this whole experience more enjoyable and less intrusive on your teenager’s life. From the types of braces Dr Tarraf uses, to offering Invisalign Teen and Lingual/Incognito Braces to all his patients, he ensures that every teenager has an option he or she is comfortable with. With suresmile, treatment times can be reduced by up to 30%.
What is comprehensive treatment?
Comprehensive treatment usually starts once all the permanent teeth are fully erupted, which is normally around 12-15 years old. Some patients don’t require any treatment until this point, while others may have needed treatment as a young child, in which case this stage of treatment would be referred to as Phase 2. At Comprehensive Treatment (or Phase 2) your teenager will have all of their permanent teeth. Braces are bonded to each tooth and wires fitted. This is the final correction phase of the malocclusion and where most of the dental movements are done. The wire acts to apply a gentle pressure to the teeth and guide them into an ideal alignment for aesthetics and function. To learn more about types of treatment available, be sure to check out our Treatment Options section, where you will find detailed information about the types of braces and invisible treatment we offer and the advanced digital technology we use.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment during adolescence typically ranges from twelve to eighteen months, depending on whether early treatment (Phase 1) was done and how much correction is still needed. Patients grow at different rates, and teeth and facial bones may respond differently to orthodontic treatment, so the time until case completion may differ slightly from the original estimate. Diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands and good oral hygiene is an important factor in achieving the best results in the shortest period of time.
Lingual/Incognito Braces for Teenagers
Why Lingual braces for children and teenagers?
- More protection from tooth decay and permanent discolouration that can happen with regular braces
- No interference with musical instruments such as the trumpet and other brassLess chance of lip injury during sports
- Completely Invisible for aesthetic appeal
- Custom made appliance with great comfort
Why do lingual braces cause less damage to tooth enamel?
Being on the inside surface of the teeth, lingual braces are closer to the salivary glands. The constant salivary flow provides a diluting and washing effect. In addition, the tongue can play a role in the cleaning process. Furthermore the custom bracket bases of the lingual braces are also very wide covering the majority of the tooth surface and protecting it from bacteria and foodstuffs. With braces on the outside, the natural cleaning mechanisms of the saliva and the tongue cannot reach areas where the plaque accumulates especially between the braces and the gums. The only way to protect the teeth is with very diligent tooth brushing. However not all children and teenagers take their brushing as seriously as they should with braces and are at risk of developing permanent damage that way.
How do lingual braces cause less tooth damage?
Studies show that conventional braces can leave permanent marks on the surface of the teeth in 30-70% of children who receive conventional orthodontic treatment. This mainly affects the front teeth and can be difficult to restore after braces are removed. After going through treatment it can be unsightly and disheartening fro children and teenagers.
Clinical research from Germany has shown that braces on the inside surface of the teeth (lingual braces) are 5 times less likely to cause damage to the teeth. It has also been shown that should decay occur, it is 10 times more severe with conventional outside braces compared to lingual braces. In addition if it did occur with lingual braces it would not be visible. A recent study of 214 teenagers treated with lingual braces also showed that in the case a decay lesion did occur, it was self-limiting and none of the subjects needed any intervention to manage it.
Are they more uncomfortable?
No, in fact the most common thing we hear from parents with children with lingual braces is “we forget they even have them on”.
Historically lingual braces were bulky and uncomfortable however the new customised systems that we use are individually designed and manufactured for every patient to make the appliances as small and as comfortable as possible.