Nowadays, there are multiple options available to teens who want to have their misaligned teeth straightened. Misalignments are common, but they can make teenagers feel uncomfortable about their appearance. In addition, crooked teeth can interfere with a proper bite and can even cause problems with jaw alignment. Here are a few different alignment options that are available for a teen with crooked teeth:
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are still available for teens who need to have their teeth properly aligned. The braces force the teeth to move through the use of an arch wire, brackets and elastic bands. Brackets are affixed to the teen's teeth, and the arch wire is attached to the brackets using elastic bands. As the arch wire is adjusted, the teeth are forced to move in the guided direction of the wire. As the teeth conform, the wire is re-tightened to encourage further alignment.
Traditional braces are associated with the term, "metal mouth," and may not be as physically appealing for a teen. Nevertheless, they do align teeth effectively.
The cost of traditional braces is $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the type and degree of alignment needed.
Ceramic braces, which are sometimes called "clear braces," straighten teeth in the same manner as traditional metal braces. However, the brackets are made of ceramic, which is typically tooth-colored and not nearly as noticeable as metal. Thus, the teen may not feel as self-conscious throughout the alignment process.
The parents of a teen with ceramic braces can expect to pay $4,000 to $8,000 for the alignment.
Lingual braces are also less apparent than traditional braces. They use metal brackets that are hidden. Instead of being applied to the outer surface of the teeth, the brackets of lingual braces are applied to the inner side of teeth, on the surface that is adjacent to the teen's tongue. Nevertheless, the straightening process is basically the same as it is for traditional braces.
The cost is between $8,000 and $10,000.
Instead of brackets, Invisalign uses clear, removable aligners that fit over the teen's teeth. The aligners are replaced every two weeks to progressively straighten the teeth.
The cost of Invisalign is $4,000 to $7,400.
Damon System Braces
Damon braces also use an arch wire and brackets. However, the arch wire is held in place by the brackets themselves, and no elastic bands are involved. In addition, the brackets are smaller than those of traditional metal braces.
The exclusion of the bands reduces the force needed to straighten the teeth, so the alignment is faster and less painful. These braces are available in metal and ceramic.
The cost of metal Damon braces is about $3,800 to $8,000.
There a multiple alignment options for teens with crooked teeth. To determine the best option for your teen, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist like Alegre Dental and Braces.