For many young people, their teen years are times of self-consciousness. Teens may feel insecure about their looks. Thus, it can be a difficult period for them to undergo orthodontic treatment with traditional braces. The metal of traditional braces is quite apparent in the mouth and can attract unwanted attention. As a result, many teens with misaligned teeth prefer more discreet treatment options.
Here are a few less noticeable orthodontic applications that can effectively straighten a teen's teeth.
Clear Aligning Trays
Clear aligning trays, such as those of the Invisalign system, are customized plastic aligners that progressively straighten the teeth. During an orthodontic correction, the patient uses multiple sets of aligners, which are worn in a specific order. The patient applies each set of trays for a couple of weeks before moving to the next prescribed set. The final set of trays should finish the alignment correction. Still, the patient may have to wear a retainer to maintain their treatment results.
The aligning trays are designed from a rigid, transparent plastic material. Due to the clear nature of the material, the trays are difficult to discern in the mouth. Teens can undergo treatment without being embarrassed by an obvious appliance covering their teeth.
The trays are even removable. Thus, teen patients don't have to be concerned about bits of food becoming caught in the aligners during meals and snacks and being displayed to onlookers. The teens can also keep their teeth white and healthy by continuing their pre-treatment dental hygiene plan. They simply remove their aligners before brushing and flossing.
Clear aligners are typically suitable for teens with minor or moderate misalignment.
Another option for teens who may want to avoid a display of metal on their teeth is lingual braces. The braces are made of metal, but they are placed on the sides of the teeth that face the tongue. As a result, the braces are hidden from view.
Lingual braces, like traditional braces, still include an archwire, brackets, and elastic ligatures. In addition, they can straighten a wide range of misalignments, including severely crooked teeth.
Teens who play band instruments or participate in sports may also prefer lingual braces over conventional braces because they are unlikely to become snagged on the lips. A blow to the mouth during a contact sport is less likely to result in a serious injury to the inner lips. Additionally, pursing the lips to play a wind instrument remains unobstructed.
To learn more about discreet ways to straighten a teen's teeth, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.