Best Braces For Teens

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Did you know that there are only a few people who actually get born with perfect teeth? Almost everyone has to go through a few dental or orthodontic treatments in their life. So, if you find that your teen is in need of braces, you do not have to worry about it too much.

One of the first things that come to mind when you think of braces is how much will it cost? Orthodontic treatments do not come in cheap but there are ways for them to be affordable these days.

If you do your research, you will find that some treatments do not have a fixed price. This is because some factors can affect the total cost: the type of braces you get, the status of your teenag’s teeth, where you are getting treatment from, and the method of payment.

Types of braces for teens

There are different braces available but ultimately, the type that your teen can access will depend on the analysis of your orthodontist. Some cases do not work for some braces so it is important to consult your orthodontist first.

Here is a list of the different braces your teenager can get and their general estimated cost. Take note that the cost can go lower or higher, depending on the state of your teenager’s teeth.

Metal braces ($3,000 to $6,000)

Metal is the most traditional type of braces. Traditional metal braces are also the oldest treatment method to get straighter teeth for teens. Today’s metal braces are not as bulky and invasive as they used to be. The current designs are now more flexible and lighter compared to the traditional metal braces of the past.

With metal braces, metal brackets will be attached on the front of each tooth and a thin wire will be used to connect these brackets together using tiny rubber bands. The orthodontist can let your teen pick out what color they want for the rubber band for customization and to make them feel better about having braces.

From time to time, your teenager will have to go to the orthodontist to have the metal braces adjusted. This ensures that the teeth are being moved to the desired location in a straight line.

Metal braces are also more obvious so you probably will find that a lot of teens would not have them as their first choice.

Pros

  • Affordable package compared to other braces.
  • Your teen can pick out the colors of the rubber bands for customization.

Cons

  • The most obvious type of braces. It could make your teen feel self-conscious

Ceramic braces ($4,000 to $8,000)

Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces but they are less obvious since it uses ceramic material instead of metal. The ceramic is usually clear or transparent and can easily blend in with the color of your teen’s teeth so they are barely noticeable. Because of this advantage, you can expect ceramic braces to cost more than metal braces.

However, you should also know that your teen must be able to take care of them. If they are not good with their oral hygiene, the ceramic material can cause stains in the teeth which can lead to further problems later on. If you think your teenager is disciplined enough to handle this responsibility, ceramic braces can be a good option.

Pros

  • Works as effectively as metal braces without the obvious metal look.
  • Can blend in with the natural tooth color of your teenager’s teeth.

Cons

  • Requires discipline and dedication to maintain. Your teenager should be responsible enough to take care of it and practice good oral hygiene.

Lingual braces ($8,000 to $10,000)

Lingual braces are similar to metal braces only that they are attached behind the teeth. Because of this, they are less visible. However, they can still be seen by people who will be sitting or standing close to your teenager.

Because of the way the braces are positioned, there is a chance that they will take a longer treatment time compared to the conventional metal brace. Some people also say that it takes longer to get used to lingual braces compared to metal braces.

Pros

  • Positioned behind the teeth so they are barely visible.
  • Known to correct bite problems effectively.

Cons

  • Lingual braces can be more expensive than other braces

Clear aligners ($3,000 to $8,000)

Among all the types of braces, clear aligners are more in demand these days since they are visually appealing and less painful.

Clear aligners make use of molds that will fit snugly to the teeth and cause them to shift their position over time. There are no metals and brackets to worry about.

Popular clear aligner brands include Candid, Byte, AlignerCo, and Invisalign. These brands have different treatment capacities so the current state of your teenager’s teeth will have a great say on whether they can get clear aligners or not. Clear aligners are known to only treat mild to moderate.

They are also very popular because of their convenience – some brands do not even require you to do office visits. You just have to check with the orthodontist assigned to your case online. This means lesser payments for you.

Pros

  • Discretion is the number one advantage of clear aligners. They are not that obvious so your teen does not have to be conscious about it.
  • Some brands allow at-home treatment – no need to visit the orthodontist in person.

Cons

  • Clear aligners can not treat severe alignment issues.

Braces for teens payment options

It is important to discuss your payment options with your orthodontist from the very start to ensure that the treatment will stay within budget. As you should know, most treatment time can last for a year or two. If you plan ahead, your teenager’s beautiful smile will be achievable.

Orthodontist office

Your orthodontist may have their own payment plans that can help you out financially. These plans may cover the cost of treatment and the office visits made throughout the treatment.

You can ask your orthodontist for an estimate of the number of checkups required while your teen has braces to have an idea of how much it costs.

Insurance

Most insurance provides coverage for orthodontic care and braces treatment. The amount you will be paying for your deductibles and copays will depend on how much you will be paying out of pocket. Generally, most insurance can cover up to $3,500 of the total cost. If you are not sure whether orthodontic care is covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider and ask them about it.

HSA or FSA

You can also use your health savings account (HSA) or flexible savings account (FSA) to pay for orthodontic treatment. This could help lower the amount of money you will have to pay out of your own pocket.

Braces for teens FAQs

What is the best age to get braces?

Most orthodontists agree that the best age to get braces are between the ages of 10 to 14 years old. By this time, all the permanent teeth are out and the jawbone is not fully developed yet. A jawbone that is still in the process of forming and growing is the best state since the teeth will be able to shift easier and bite issues are easily corrected.

How long do teenagers have to wear braces?

Orthodontic treatment time is different for every person. This will greatly depend on the condition of their teeth. As mentioned earlier, the teenage years are the time of quick growth and development. Some teens can wear braces for a minimum of 6 months while severe cases will probably need a maximum of 2 years.

After treatment, your teen will be required to wear a retainer to maintain the new position of their teeth.

What dental issues can braces for teens fix?

Braces are not just for teeth straightening. They help deal with different issues such as

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Open bite
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite

Advantages of getting braces for teens

Most people will think that getting braces for teens is all about the way the teeth will look. It actually comes with more health benefits.

For instance, after having braces, your teen will be able to talk more clearly because your teeth are positioned in a straight and better manner.

If your teen is getting braces because of bite issues, they no longer become at risk of chipped teeth or having a sore jaw.

Your teen’s oral health will also drastically improve once the braces are off. Their teeth will be easier to clean and there will be lesser risks of tooth decay or cavities.

And the most important benefit of all, teenagers get a great amount of confidence once they get the braces off and see that they have a better smile. Confidence work wonders for their self esteem.

Conclusion

Getting orthodontic treatment for teens is ideal since this is the phase in their lives when it is easier to shape and improve their bite and smile. Treatment time is always lesser for teenagers compared to adults since they are in the time for change and development.

Perhaps the most challenging part of getting orthodontic treatment for teens is that they are very self-conscious about their looks during this phase of their life. You will probably see them leaning on clear aligners or invisible braces because of this.

If you are looking for different options for your teens’ braces, you should ask your orthodontist about these options and which ones would work best for your teen.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.

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