Discreet Orthodontic Options For Teen Patients

If you are the parent of a teen with misaligned teeth, you may have already decided to have your child's dental misalignment corrected orthodontically. Still, your teen may be uncomfortable with the thought of wearing metal brackets on their teeth.

Here are a few orthodontic options that offer treatment discretion for teen patients.

Clear Plastic Aligners

Clear plastic aligners are customized mouth trays that are made of rigid, transparent plastic. The trays exert aligning force on the teeth to coax them into a straight configuration. During treatment, multiple sets of trays are used. The patient wears each set for a few weeks and then moves on to the next set in the treatment plan.

The trays are removable, so your teen can take them out of their mouth when they brush, floss, and eat. Nevertheless, the trays should remain in the mouth at all other times. If the trays are left out of the mouth for more than a couple of hours daily, the treatment progress will likely be delayed.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are positioned next to the tongue. Since the metal brackets are not applied on the front surfaces of the teeth, they are hidden from view.

Although lingual braces do offer treatment discretion, they straighten the teeth as effectively as traditional braces. Additionally, they require the regular adjustment of the archwires to ensure that the teeth receive the continued alignment force necessary to straighten them.

If your teen is active in team sports, they may appreciate the placement of the braces since their positioning can make it more difficult for mouth injuries to occur. Conventional braces may become snagged on the inner cheeks and lips when a blow to the mouth transpires. However, with lingual braces, the wires and brackets are on the back surfaces of the teeth.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces include smaller brackets than traditional braces. Thus, they are less noticeable in the mouth. Also, the self-ligating system makes the use of elastic ligatures unnecessary. Instead of bands connecting the archwire to the brackets, the self-ligating brackets include small holes through which the archwires are fed.

The system reduces the oppositional friction involved in the treatment process. As a result, your teen's teeth can be straightened more quickly. Additionally, ceramic brackets can be chosen for the appliance to make the device even more discreet.

To determine an orthodontic option for your teen, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in your local area.