What Braces Option Is Best for Your Teen? - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

What Braces Option Is Best for Your Teen?

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Young adult man that is smiling with braces on his teeth and giving the thumbs up sign.

In modern times, getting braces has become quite the luxury. Many families even fore-go some needs in order to get their children braces. Why? Braces can do wonders for a child and a teen as they grow into adults and work to achieve success. Part of that success can come from choosing the right type of braces that fits a teen’s lifestyle, participation in sports, confidence level and the goals they have. See what braces options we have for your teen and how they benefit!


Does Your Teen Actually Need Braces?

At Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we often fit children for braces. After they come in for their recommended orthodontic examination at age 7 or 8, we can detect bite and alignment issues and fix them. This can help change a child’s life, as bite and alignment issues can cause speech impediments to form or grow worse. Children without child orthodontics could also struggle with biting, chewing and eating correctly as they age. When children don’t have these orthodontic problems fixed as children, they will have to have them fixed if they want braces as a teen.


Many teens receive braces because they are in a key time in their life where they have all of their permanent teeth in their mouth (age 11 or 12), but the jaws aren’t completely firm yet. The jaws stop forming around the time that teens are ending high school and starting college. If a teen 1) has bite and alignment issues still ]or 2) has crooked teeth, this is the time they want to get them fixed. Crooked teeth can also lead to more problems with tooth decay and gum disease that worsen over time. When teeth are crooked, they are harder to brush and floss well, which leads to various oral health diseases and dental procedures to fix those diseases.


Straightening the teeth is something many teens want. Studies show that a straight smile directly affects a person’s confidence no matter if they are a child, a teen or adult. Adolescence is a prime time when teens are going through many changes, and they need all the confidence they can get. Giving them a straight smile through various braces options is something you can give them. In a study conducted by the same company that created Invisalign, they found that those who get straighter smiles end up being more confident. They smile more, are perceived as more confident by others, as well as more attractive, healthy, and successful.


Close-up view of a woman's mouth with white ceramic braces on her teeth.

What Braces Options Do They Have?

In decades past, traditional metal braces were the only option that teens had to straighten their teeth. Up until the 1970s, metal braces were  large and often required headgear. Now, traditional metal braces have been perfected to their simple design of brackets and wires. Metal braces are the most common braces option teens choose. However, there are other options teens have such as:

  • Ceramic Braces: These type of braces are exactly like traditional metal braces, except that they are made from a white ceramic material. That white material naturally helps prevent demineralization (or your teeth losing minerals) and the whiteness blends in with the teeth. With this braces option, even the wire can be made white. It’s a way to have the same metal braces design while hiding the braces in the mouth more.
  • Lingual Braces: Often, patients may feel self-conscious about their braces even though they love the straightening results. That is why lingual braces were created. Known as “incognito braces”, they are metal braces that are custom-made to fit the back of your teeth. They have a bracket and wire design, but stay hidden in the mouth.
  • Invisalign Teen: The most invisible way to have braces is through Invisalign treatment. This is a braces option that consists of custom-made transparent aligners. Patients wear them for 20-22 hours of the day (including overnight). They are sturdy, thin aligners that are switched out each week to slowly push the teeth into place.


Close-up view of a young woman's mouth and she is holding a mouth model with metal braces and an Invisalign aligner in the other hand.

Invisalign Vs. Other Braces Options

More and more teenagers are turning to Invisalign Teen for their orthodontic needs because of the benefits it gives them that metal or similar braces don’t. Metal braces can interfere with eating, speaking and maintaining clean teeth. Although it’s a great option for teens, they do have to be meticulous with their oral hygiene habits. Food can become stuck in the brackets and wires every single time a teen eats, and can decay the teeth. Patients will have to watch what they eat because of this. Also avoid sticky foods such as dried fruit, taffy, licorice, gummies, fruit snacks, caramels, and similar candies.


With some patients, the teeth can also demineralize with bracket and wire braces options, but this is also caused by a patient’s diet. If they drink carbonated or citric beverages (like soda and juice) often, the acids in those drinks will strip away minerals from the teeth. Drinks like these and foods with dyes (like berries or water enhancers) can also change the color of teeth around the brackets. It all depends on what a patient chooses to do with their diet.


Many teens and adults love Invisalign because it’s so easy. Patients can remove the aligners as-needed for regular brushing and flossing. They can take them out to eat without worrying that food will get stuck in their orthodontic appliance. This braces option isn’t a problem for contact sports either, as brackets can cut the mouth if a patient is hit in the face. Many teen patients also play instruments, which can be trickier with brackets and wires. Lingual braces helps this problem, and so does Invisalign.


Invest In Braces Today

If your teen wants a reduced risk for tooth decay and wants an easier time cleaning their appliance, consider Invisalign treatment. Call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (720) 887-6003 for your free consultation!