Who can forget that their teen years marked with all kinds of firsts: your first car, first job, and for many, your first straight smile? After we lose our first set of teeth, taking care of permanent teeth becomes a priority. To achieve a life-long straight smile, adolescents may opt for orthodontic braces. However, teens may not need braces in some cases. In this article, Rochester family dentist Dr. Gilly Calcagno explains when teens need braces.
The Value of Straight Teeth
Why braces? Sometimes, people just want straight teeth. For some, braces are necessary to correct dental problems, like a misaligned bite, or malocclusion. When crooked teeth disrupt a healthy bite, chewing and digestion can become problematic. Malocclusion can also cause headaches and backaches. In some cases, a badly misaligned jaw can damage tissue in the mouth when teeth bite into portions of the oral cavity. Braces pull teeth and the lower jaw into place by way of metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands. To keep teeth aligned after braces come off, patients have to occasionally wear a retainer.
When Braces Aren’t Necessary
In cases where crooked teeth do not pose malocclusion problems, teeth may not need braces. However, teens may still choose to straighten their teeth. Invisalign aligners offer a discreet alternative to braces. Dr. Calcagno can send photos, X-rays, and your dental impressions to an Invisalign lab for a set of aligners that will bring your teeth into optimal alignment over time. For most, treatment only takes about a year. Although Invisalign is less obvious than metal braces, teens should still practice good dental care with their aligners, as they would with orthodontic braces. The clear plastic that makes Invisalign braces can stain, so Dr. Calcagno recommends avoiding dark foods and drinks when wearing the aligners. Since treatment requires wearing aligners for 20-22 hours a day, teens may have to alter their lifestyle and eating habits as they would when wearing metal braces. The good news is, Invisalign braces can be removed for convenience when eating and cleaning teeth. Furthermore, Invisalign offers a few complimentary replacement aligners for those bad days with aligners end up in the school garbage can.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Richmond Dentist
If you or your teen decided against orthodontic braces, talk to Dr. Calcagno, your Rochester family dentist about a treatment with Invisalign. After a comprehensive dental examination at our 55902 dentist office, Dr. Calcagno can determine the best course of action for straightening your teeth. Call (507) 281-3659 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and surrounding areas.