Everything you need to know
Often the best time to correct bite problems or improve a smile is during the early teenage years, just after all the adult teeth have emerged. If it seems like every second teenager has braces, you may be right. Braces are more popular than ever, with a variety of options marketed at different price points and lifestyles, including the new clear aligners such as Invisalign and lingual brace.
Luckily that’s a thing of the past. There are many options that are low profile or near-invisible, meaning that wearing braces isn’t the social marker it once was. In fact, technology has allowed braces to undergo a transformation as a symbol, changing from something to hide into something to celebrate in many instances. These days you can even decorate your smile with multi-coloured bands and change their colour several times during treatment, to draw attention to them and own your look.
Around 70% of the population will need braces at some point. So dental alignment is far more normal than not.
On this page you’ll find the answers to the most common questions about teenagers’ braces.
Broadly, there are three options when it comes to correcting your bite or enhancing your smile:
Traditional braces. This is what most people have in mind when they think about braces. But there’s more than one style available. Clear or tooth-coloured brackets make the braces much less noticeable. Or you can opt for maximum visibility and choose from a wide colour palette to match a sports team, school uniform or your mood every time you come in for an adjustment.
Invisalign. The gold standard in invisible alignment treatment. The Invisalign system consists of a graduated series of clear plastic aligners that can be removed when you eat or for special occasions. You need to wear them for at least 22 hours a day to be effective, but if you want a beautiful smile without a hint of braces, Invisalign is for you.
Invisible Braces (also called Lingual Braces). These work just like traditional braces worn on the front of the teeth, only they’re worn on the inside of your teeth , making them almost completely invisible. Only your close friends and family will know you’re having your smile adjusted.
Will they change my speech?
No. Braces will not change the way you talk. You will find that after they’re first fitted they will feel a little awkward for 2-3 days. But after that the sensation will subside, your tongue will adjust and you should be able to talk without interruption.
Invisalign takes a little longer to get used to as the aligners change the height of your teeth slightly. But after getting used to them, your pronunciation will be clear and crisp.
How much will it hurt?
For all types of braces, when they’re fitted, you will find they cause some discomfort. A mild analgesic like paracetamol or ibuprofen will relieve the sensation. Every 6-8 weeks when they’re adjusted you will feel some mild discomfort again.
Invisalign will cause hardly any discomfort at all.
Can I still play sports?
Yes, absolutely. Your braces won’t stop you playing sport.
If you play a contact sport you will need a new mouthguard to accommodate your braces, but we can give you one.
Can you still kiss someone?
Yes, kissing isn’t a problem.
How long will I have to wear them?
Everyone’s treatment plan is different, so everyone’s treatment time is different too. But you can anticipate wearing braces or Invisalign for between 6 and 24 months.
What do teenagers braces cost?
Everyone has a different treatment path, but a safe average is to budget around $6,500 for traditional braces on the top and bottom arch and $ 8000 for Invisalign.
That’s a pretty decent investment in your future, but you don’t have to pay it all at once. We offer a range of payment plans that break up the cost into small monthly repayments, to make it affordable and easy to manage.
What’s the process for getting braces?
When you come to see us, we will look at your teeth and face and talk to you about your concerns. We may also take x-rays, photographs and make impressions of the teeth. Then we will lay out all your treatment choices and answer all your questions. Once you have discussed the alternatives and made a choice, we will begin treatment in a follow-up session.
With all the choices available, which is best?
Each treatment method has some pros and cons that you will need to consider. That’s where we will be able to help. We will give you all the information you need, along with a recommendation based on our years of experience treating all kinds of alignment problems and bite correction issues.
We take away all the uncertainty you might have by taking the time to explain the issues at hand, what the most likely outcome of various treatment options is and what’s involved in each. We won’t pressure you to make a decision and we’ll be there to support you at each step of the journey once you make up your mind.