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What types of braces are best for teens?

We treat patients of all ages, but teenagers are the most common here at Shawano Orthodontics. Your child’s teenage years are a time of rapid growth and change, making it an ideal time to straighten their teeth and reshape their smile.

If your teen needs braces, you’re probably both wondering what the best option is. Here’s the good news: the options are far better than they used to be! Keep reading to learn about the many choices available at Shawano Orthodontics and what types of braces are best for teens.

Why do teens need braces?

The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that 50-70% of U.S. children will wear braces before they reach adulthood. That’s a lot of teen patients! Braces can solve many troublesome oral health issues, including:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite

Benefits of starting braces while your teen is still developing

Fixing the above issues comes with tremendous benefits for your teen. For starters, braces improve the way they look, boosting their confidence and self-esteem and setting them up for greater success in life. But it’s not all about appearance – orthodontic treatment provides important health benefits as well. Straight, properly aligned teeth and jaws can help improve your teen’s speech, chewing, breathing, sleeping, and overall health. They are also easier to clean, which means your teen will be less likely to get cavities or tooth decay. 

The teenage years are ideal for braces because your child has most or all of their adult teeth yet their jawbone is still growing and forming, making it easier for their teeth to shift. Most teens complete their orthodontic treatment faster than adults.

Your teen may experience a bit of braces anxiety at first, wondering if they will hurt or what they will look like wearing them. Your Shawano orthodontist is here to put them at ease by thoroughly explaining their options and providing them with guidance and support through every step of treatment. We can guarantee they’ll be surrounded by plenty of other teens with braces – even our team goes through treatment!

Comparing your options

Shawano Orthodontics offers three main options: traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners.

Traditional metal braces

These are the braces you’re probably already familiar with, although today’s metal braces are lighter and more comfortable than in years past.  

Traditional braces are made from metal brackets attached to each tooth, which are then connected by a thin wire that gently pushes on teeth to slowly move them into the correct position. The wire is held by tiny elastic bands that come in a variety of fun colors (teens love that part!). 

Metal braces are usually the most economical choice, but they are also the most obvious. If your teen is really nervous about how they look, you might want to opt for ceramic braces or Invisalign clear aligners instead.  

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces work the same way as metal braces, but they are made from a transparent ceramic material – so they’re far less noticeable and blend in better with your teen’s teeth. Ceramic braces cost more than metal braces and can stain if not taken care of properly, but they’re a great choice for teens who want to pass on the shiny metal look.

Invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign clear aligners are the most discreet form of orthodontic treatment available. The aligners are clear and practically invisible. They can also be removed, which makes eating, brushing, and flossing easier during treatment. Most teens love being able to remove them for special occasions where photos will be taken (such as prom), sporting events (if your teen is an athlete), and more.

During your child’s consultation, we’ll capture a digital iTero scan of your child’s teeth and gums to create custom aligners.  Every one to two weeks, your teen will change to new aligners as prescribed by your Shawano orthodontist to wear until their treatment is complete.

How much are braces for teens?

At Shawano Orthodontics, your treatment is personalized just for you – therefore, treatment costs will vary based on your individual needs. Between dental insurance coverage and our convenient in-house financing options, braces and Invisalign clear aligners are often similar in cost. Before you begin treatment, we’ll make sure that you know exactly what to expect and set up a payment plan that fits your budget.  

Some teens and parents try do-it-yourself (DIY) or mail-order aligners in an effort to save money. Unfortunately, DIY aligners come with many risks. A one-size-fits-all approach can work for a lot of things, but your orthodontic treatment isn’t one of them. 

Does insurance cover braces for teens?

You may wonder if braces are covered by your insurance. Many dental insurance plans do include coverage for braces and other orthodontic treatments. However, you will need to check the fine print – there may be an annual cap or lifetime maximum for orthodontics, or your policy may only cover braces for medical purposes (such as a misaligned jaw).

If your policy doesn’t include orthodontics or you don’t have dental insurance at all, Shawano Orthodontics offers $0 down, 0% interest flexible financing plans that can fit almost any budget.

Schedule a free consultation today

Now that you have a better idea of why orthodontic treatment matters for teens, we hope you’ll take the next step to learn more about your options. All you have to do is bring your teen to see us, and we’ll get to work on creating their perfect smile.

Your free consultation at Shawano Orthodontics will include:

  • One-on-one time with a doctor
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Digital x-rays
  • iTero® 3D model of their teeth and gums
  • Financial consultation

It’s that easy. We look forward to meeting you soon!