Helping Your Teenager Adjust to Braces

By Carol Waldman April 25, 2017

Most orthodontic corrective treatments for realigning the teeth are completed when your child is in their tween or teen years. However, the thought of having to wear braces and have them installed over their teeth can be a fearful experience, especially if they have heard various “stories” from their friends and peers, who already have gotten braces.

These “stories” can also cause your teenager to not fully understand the actual procedures and processes used today with modern orthodontics to realign and straighten the teeth. They may also become adamant that they do not care if their teeth are crooked, overcrowded, or growing out the gum in the wrong direction, they do not want braces.

Helping Your Teenager Adjust to Braces

Fortunately for teens, modern orthodontics have advanced over the years and they now have the choice between traditional braces and Invisalign. Invisalign is a new way to straighten and realign teeth. Unlike braces that are secured onto the teeth, the Invisalign process uses special aligner form fitted trays your teen wears throughout the day. Every two weeks, or as recommended by their dentist, they replace their existing aligner trays with new ones and continue this process until the end of their treatment.

Common Fears Teens Have about Braces

Even if your teen is a bit more reserved and mature about getting braces, they can still have fears, which they might not be open to sharing for various reasons. One of the most common fears is that of the unknown and not understanding the different instruments, equipment, and procedures that are going to be needed to prepare their teeth for braces.

Prior to committing to getting braces installed, the first thing you should do is schedule a consultation appointment with their dentist. Make this appointment about your teen and allow them to discuss their fears and concerns they have about getting braces. This is also a great time for parents to ask questions, too. Having your teenager get information directly from their dentist ensures it is accurate and correct.

Another concern your teen may express is how braces are going to alter their appearance and make them feel embarrassed. Since most treatments take around two years, sometimes longer, your teen may feel overly anxious about having to wear braces for what seems like an eternity, to them, even though it is just a year or two.

You need to remind your teen, there are other teenagers also going through the same feelings and concerns. Make sure to mention the long term benefits of having beautiful looking teeth for the rest of their lives and putting in the time now will be something they will be happy they did as they get older.

Benefits of Invisalign for Teens

Invisalign treatments have several benefits over traditional braces which appealing to teens including:

  • Aligner trays are clear, so it makes it difficult for others to notice they are wearing them.
  • They can eat their favourite foods be removing the aligners prior to meals and brushing afterwards before putting the aligners back over their teeth.
  • The process is gradual just like traditional braces.
  • Teens feel less embarrassed about their appearance.

To learn more about Invisalign orthodontic treatment for your teen, please feel free to contact Dr. Carol Waldman at 416.445.6000 today to schedule a consultation appointment at her North York dental office.