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Teen Braces: Prepping Your Child from Start to Finish

Considering seeing an orthodontist to see if your kid needs braces? Teen braces don’t have to be a nightmare – and we’re sharing all you need to know to help.

Teens have specific oral health needs. But none is likely to catch their attention as much as their own smile.

“Do I have a bad bite?”

“Are my teeth crooked?”

Those are just some of the questions a teen may be asking when looking at the mirror. If such dental issues exist, braces can be the solution. In this post, we will look at everything you need to know about teen braces for these young adults.

Does Your Young One Need Teen Braces? The Right Orthodontist Can Provide Answers

Does your teen need braces?

Only a capable orthodontist can tell, and “word of mouth” is a powerful tool when looking for one. Start by asking your friends, relatives, and coworkers for recommendations.

Once you have a list of referrals, give them a ring and do pay attention to the way they handle inquiries. You want one who can answer your questions – may it be about insurance, specific procedures, or timelines – in a thorough, accommodating, and friendly manner.

After you’ve found the golden candidate, schedule an appointment to assess if your teen needs braces. And if braces are indeed required, the dentist will lay down a plan complete with X-rays, schedule, costs, and estimated duration of the treatment.

What To Expect When Getting Braces For Your Teenager

Braces can go a long way in brightening someone’s smile. But getting one can be fraught with awkward and uncomfortable moments – if you don’t know what to expect. Here are a few things to get ready for.

Braces Are Not Cheap

Braces come at a steep price. The average costs sit somewhere between $3000 to $7000, depending on the severity of the problem, the type of brace, and how well the patient is keeping up with the dentist’s instructions.

And yes, not complying with the best oral care practices can extend the treatment period and skyrocket costs!

Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts. A good orthodontist understands how getting braces can be a tough financial responsibility to bear and you need all the help you can get. There are no guarantees that you’d get one. But asking never hurts.

Sitting down to sort the math and see how much your insurance can pay for the treatment is always recommended. If you have two or more teens, you may find that getting one of them into full braces while starting the required pre-work with your other kid can minimize out-of-pocket costs.

Dealing With Pain

Pain is par for the course when getting a teen braces. The intensity can vary from mild discomfort to severe, lasting about an hour or two after adjustments.

Be proactive! Apply oral anesthetics like Orajel and Anbesol directly to the gums and teeth of your young teen. Or you can have him or her take pain relievers an hour before their appointment. These proactive measures can help minimize the pain and discomfort when the dentist bends, adjusts, or tightens the wires.

And one more thing – try to schedule orthodontist appointments during weekends or after-school hours.

Few things can be as frustrating to a teen as sitting in a challenging history or math class while suffering from tooth or gum pain!

Different Teens, Different Approaches

How can you guarantee a successful treatment with braces? The answer often depends on a teen’s existing habits – and how well you adjust as a parent.

One teen may be trendy, spending a lot of time getting A+ for appearance, style, and hygiene. If that is true for your kid, getting him or her on braces can be a smooth affair. The teen may even marvel at the monthly progress of the treatment while showing off their brand new smile.

Another teenager, however, may be a little willy-nilly when it comes to hygiene and oral care best practices.

In such cases, instilling basic oral hygiene habits – such as brushing three times a day and flossing at least once – is a priority to guarantee a smooth and successful treatment.

Patience in ample doses is often necessary when teaching proper care and maintenance for braces. A teen may snap the wires, chew on hard candy, or allow the braces to slip often without being aware of it.

And sometimes, a teenager may need another authoritative adult other than their parents to show them how its done.

So try to get the orthodontist involved in the teaching process. The dentist can explain why certain habits must be avoided, how to properly care for their braces, and the consequences of not following the recommended practices.

Teen Braces Teach Life Lessons, Too

Living with braces not only brings your teen a step closer to straighter teeth and better oral health. It can be a valuable tool to teaches life lessons, too!

Think about it:

A teen with braces must steer clear of gum and hard candy, brush their teeth with extra care, and floss regularly so food doesn’t get stuck in those tight spaces. It can get tedious and it requires a lot of self-discipline to keep up.

Not to mention the retainers to keep track of and take wherever they go, just like wallets, smartphones, and car keys.

Sure, things can get frustrating when retainers are lost and wires snap after snacking on candy. But don’t tire in guiding your teen. After all, the treatment isn’t just helping straighten their teeth. It’s a valuable learning experience, too.

Help Your Teen Brace For Life!

Getting braces can be quite a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. And in this post, we looked at everything you and your teen needs to know about braces.

We had a brief discussion about finding the right orthodontist for the job. Next, we looked at things you should expect when undergoing the treatment – from the cost to coping strategies. And last but not the least, we saw how getting braces can even teach life lessons!

And with what we’ve learned today, you can prepare your child up for a brighter smile and brace them for life.