For most adolescents, the teen years are highlighted by hormonal changes, awkwardness, and the fear of not fitting in. And teens who have visible problems with their teeth may suffer from self-esteem issues, as well. Teeth that have grown crowded, crooked, or with gaps between can cause stress for older kids. Luckily, it’s a simple path to a straighter, brighter smile, and at Geneseo Orthodontics, we’ll treat your teen as part of the family. Call today to discuss braces for teens with Dr. Mike. He has answers to all the questions your child has regarding braces.

How Long Will I Wear Braces?

For most, braces are worn for a period of 1 to 3 years. While you wear them, you’ll visit your orthodontist regularly to have them adjusted. Usually, this happens every 4 to 6 weeks. This ensures that each tooth slowly comes into perfect alignment with the surrounding teeth, and none go rogue. Teeth that are properly aligned not only look nice, but they function better as well. When your braces come off, you may notice improvements in how you speak and how you chew. Braces also help you achieve perfect alignment of the upper and lower jaw, which can relieve pain for those who struggle with malocclusion. At Geneseo Orthodontics, Dr. Mike will sit down with you in the beginning to explain the many benefits of braces for teens. You’ll understand what the procedure entails, and you’ll have a firm understanding of how to care for your teeth as you wear braces.

Do I Have to Avoid Certain Foods When I Have Braces?

Today’s braces are huge improvements over the braces of old, but they can still become damaged if not cared for properly. In some instances, this means avoiding foods that can bend or break the wires or ligatures needed to hold them in place or even the brackets themselves. You also want to prevent eating foods that could wind around your braces and become hopelessly tangled. For best results, avoid the following:

  • Hard candies
  • Sticky caramels and nougats
  • Chewing gum
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Crunchy taco chips or shells
  • Ice chips
  • Hard pretzels

These are really the only precautions you need to take regarding off-limit foods. Most other foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains, should not cause problems for teens with braces, so long as you take care to clean and care for them properly after eating.

How Do I Care for My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

When you wear braces, you’ll need to be serious about your dental hygiene habits. Any food or debris that’s left to linger on and between teeth may contribute to tooth decay. For this reason, you’ll want to brush and floss after every meal and snack. Always use a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Aside from more frequent cleanings, however, it’s not difficult to take care of braces. You will want to avoid putting hard, unforgiving objects in your mouth, so if you routinely chew your pencil or bite your fingernails, now is a good time to break these habits.

Can I Still Play Sports While Wearing Braces?

Sports are a huge part of the high school experience, and wearing braces won’t affect that. There’s no sport you can’t participate in simply because you wear braces. However, it is a good idea to wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports such as football or wrestling. A mouth guard, one that has been professionally fitted by your orthodontist, can help protect your braces from impact and breakage.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

The cost of braces for teens typically ranges somewhere between $4,000 and $6,500. However, this is less than the cost of repeat visits as an adult for extractions, bridges, and more to help teeth fit together attractively. It’s better to adjust teeth as your teen’s mouth is growing and changing than it is to do restorative work later on. Most orthodontic practices, including Geneseo Orthodontics, offer flexible financing options for braces. There may also be insurance coverage available through your choice of carrier.

Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mike at Geneseo Orthodontics. Our warm and friendly staff is waiting to answer all your questions regarding braces for teens. You and your teen will love the whole braces experience when you trust Dr. Mike as your choice of orthodontist in New York.