So if you’re a parent reading this article, we want to say thank you for recognizing the need to straighten your child’s teeth while they are still young, which will set them up for a more fulfilling life when they reach adulthood.
Your first question is probably something along the lines of “I know my child needs some form of orthodontic treatment, but what option is the best?”
While each situation is different, after treating thousands of children and teenagers, we have a good idea of what treatments and/or appliances will likely help your child straighten their crooked teeth.
Common treatment options for crooked teeth in teens and adolescents
Here are some of the most common teeth straightening options we offer for children and teenagers at our West Chester, Lionville, and Kennett Square dental and orthodontic offices.
You’ve seen traditional metal braces, which consist of standard metal brackets, and are ideal for children and teens with severe alignment issues. In addition to metal braces, you can also consider clear ceramic braces, or self-litigating braces for your child.
To learn more about these specific options, visit our page on traditional braces.
Invisalign Teen (clear braces):
Invisalign Teen is an incredible option for responsible teenagers who want the teeth straightening power of braces, but are more concerned with their appearance. These braces are actually a clear set of aligners, and are best suited for patients with mild to moderate issues.
The key to Invisalign Teen is compliance. Your teenager must be willing to comply with all Invisalign Teen guidelines, otherwise the treatment will not be as effective as it can be.
To learn more about Invisalign clear braces, click here to visit our Invisalign page.
Positioners are used toward the end of orthodontic treatment. They are typically worn for 4-8 weeks, and help complete the final shifts in your child’s teeth.
Retainers guard against regression. After all, after you’ve spent significant money on your child’s teeth, you don’t them want to “lose progress,” so to speak.
Every situation is different, and our orthodontists will tell you and your child how long they should wear a retainer after their treatment.
This type of treatment gently pulls your teeth to help correct a moderate to severe overbite or underbite. In many situations children and teens do not want headgear, but it’s a common treatment that has stood the test of time.
If your child suffers from an underbite or overbite, they’ll thank you a few years from now that you were able to provide them with headgear orthodontic treatment.
Separators, Spacers, and Bands:
Separators or spacers are part of a larger orthodontic treatment option, and are used in order to create space between teeth so elastic bands can be placed. It’s important to note that we recommend staying away from sticky foods when wearing spacers or separators.
The Herbst appliance is typically worn by younger patients for a period of 12-15 months, and it helps to straighten crooked teeth by correcting an overbite (it moves the lower jaw forward, and upper molars backwards).
A palatal expander is used to widen your upper jaw with gentle pressure. It works be gently pushing your upper molars, but any pain that is felt is minimal.
To learn more about the palatal expander, as well as all of the other appliances mentioned above, visit this page.
Where should you go from here?
Many parents think they need a referral from their family dentist, but that isn’t the case. In fact, you can contact us right here to book your appointment today.
If your child has crooked or misshapen teeth, and you’re looking to fix this problem in order to give them a better, more fulfilling life with more self-confidence moving forward, give us a call today.