Common Teen Questions
Our clinic is a specialty practice -- we straighten teeth and improve smiles all day. As specialists we offer many treatment options to our teen patients, in a fun and encouraging environment. You are already going through an often exciting and at times sensitive time of life; our team will help you get through it, with a smile you love!
How do I know if I need braces?
A consultation with our office will allow Dr. Duncan to understand your concerns and goals, and take time to assess your smile and bite. If Dr. Duncan determines that you are a candidate for treatment, and your parents want to go ahead at this time, we will work with your family to select the preferred treatment and financing option.
After your initial exam, you are automatically enrolled in the Growth Monitoring and Family Courtesy Program, which allows you to have follow-up orthodontic consultations at no cost. This early and on-going monitoring is critical in evaluating growth patterns -- the earlier problems can be identified, the better.
What are the benefits of braces or orthodontic treatment?
The number one, undeniable benefit that orthodontic treatment can offer, is improved quality of life by way of unleashing the confidence and potential of a person once held back by their smile. Once you’ve been freed of your personal barrier, you are free to face the world and show off the wonderful person who’s always lived inside of you.
Also, your newly straightened smile and aligned bite will have ripple effects on your overall health and well-being for a long time to come. Improved access for oral hygiene means less risk of gum disease and cavities; improved bite means better chewing, swallowing and speaking function and possibly less TMJ problems down the road.
What will my braces look like?
Many teens want braces that stand out for the world to see – to these patients we offer braces that can be accessorized with colors to complement your mood or plans that day. Others may want to improve their smile in private – for them, options such as Invisalign Teen or Clear Braces may be most appealing.
Our office offers many braces types, each having different look and feel:
- metal brackets;
- clear brackets;
- and clear aligners (Invisalign).
How long will it take?
If you need to be out of braces for an important event, like graduation, you need to let our office know. There are ways for us to shorten your treatment time while getting a great result, depending on your orthodontic needs and your preferences. Our team can often complete your braces in a year and a half or less, and for minor stuff, in as little as 8 months! Part of this is up to you; it all goes more quickly if you:
- Keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy;
- Come to your appointments on time;
- Follow all of the recommendations provided by our office.
Let us know your timelines and concerns and we will develop a quality treatment plan to best meet your needs.
What can I Eat?!
Most of your favorite foods are just fine with braces. Some extra hard or sticky stuff should not be eaten -- popcorn is one to avoid, those hard un-popped kernels are great at knocking off brackets. If you choose Invisalign, you can eat whatever you want, as you take the Invisalign trays out before eating anyway.
Will it hurt?
Many of our teens are concerned about pain/discomfort associated with braces. The first 1-2 weeks after getting your new braces are the least fun: you might be learning how to chew without knocking off a bracket; dealing with minor irritation on the inside of your lips, as you adjust to the new bling; and possibly the “headache in my mouth” sensation associated with tooth movement.
Once you get over this 1-2 week hump, orthodontic treatment that uses gentle orthodontic wires and active self-ligating braces is pretty comfortable. Adding AcceleDent to your treatment may further decrease any associated discomfort, and speed up your treatment progress. Invisalign Teen is a good choice if you are particularly sensitive to mouth irritants or have a metal allergy.
Tell us your concerns at your appointment, we are here to help you choose the best treatment option, and to get you great results!
I am busy, and I'll probably just break something anyway.
Often our teen patients are very active and concerned about the time commitments or about how to protect themselves from sports related injuries before, during or after orthodontic treatment – we have helpful guidance to make this work. You can continue to excel in your chosen sports and activities while working on your smile.
Could this wait?
Teenage jaws respond more quickly to orthodontic treatment than adults, reducing teen treatment time. While orthodontic treatment often provides a visible and more pleasing alignment of the teeth, treatment also corrects issues with bite, crowding and alignment. Left untreated, these issues can result in uneven wear, jaw issues, headaches, decay and tooth loss, and chipping and breaking of the teeth. The earlier we find an issue, less time for it to become worse. In most cases, problems are more quickly resolved, and cost significantly less to resolve if found early.
If you don’t need treatment, great! If you are someone who could benefit from braces, then you deserve this benefit and we’ll do what we can to make this happen for you.