Adolescent Orthodontic Care

Adolescent orthodontic care.

How Teeth Develop During Adolescence

For many teens, braces are a rite of passage: They're one more example of the changes adolescents go through at this time — along with growth in stature, edgier tastes in clothes and music, and an increasing degree of self-awareness. But is there any particular reason why orthodontic appliances and teenagers seem to go together? In a word: Yes.

There are several good reasons why adolescence is the optimal time for orthodontic treatment, though occasionally even earlier intervention is called for. One has to do with the development of the teeth: There's no set timetable for every kid, but generally by the age of 11-13 the deciduous (baby) teeth have all been lost, and the permanent ones have largely come in. This is the time when we can go to work correcting the problems that cause a bad bite (malocclusion), improper tooth spacing or poor alignment.

The Importance of Early Orthodontic Intervention

Orthodontic problems don't improve with age — they simply become harder to treat. It's easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because the body is still growing rapidly at this time. Whether we use standard braces, or appliances like palatal expanders, we can create an improved appearance and function in a short period of time. In later years, when the bones of the face and jaw are fully developed, many conditions become more difficult (and costly) to treat.

There's even a social element to getting orthodontic treatment in adolescence. If you need braces, you're not alone! Chances are you'll see some of your classmates in our office, and you may even make new friends as you go through the process together. When it's done, you'll have a smile that you can really be proud of, and benefits that will last your whole life.

The Orthodontic Treatment Process

What can you expect when you come in to our office for treatment? It all depends on what kind of treatment you need. The first time you come in, we'll take pictures and radiographic (X-ray) images of your mouth, and possibly make a model of your bite. Then, we'll develop a treatment plan. It may involve regular braces, with or without elastics (rubber bands). We might also recommend that you use a specialized appliance for a period of time. Here are some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances:

Metal braces.Metal Braces need no introduction. But you might be surprised to find that braces are smaller and lighter than ever. They may even offer some customized options, like colored elastic ties on the brackets to complete your orthodontic treatment.

Clear braces.Clear Braces feature brackets made of ceramic or composite materials which blend in with your teeth, making them harder to notice. They're suitable in many situations, but they cost a little more.

Clear aligners.Clear Aligners for teens is a series of removable, clear plastic trays that gradually straighten teeth as they're worn (for 22 hours per day). Formerly recommended only for adult patients, they now come with special features — like compliance indicators to tell how often you've been wearing them — that make them appropriate for teens in some situations. The advantage: they're practically invisible!

Lingual braces.Lingual Braces offer the most unnoticeable form of orthodontic treatment because they're attached to the back (tongue side) of the teeth, where they can't be seen at all.

Other orthodontic appliances may be recommended in some cases, where major tooth or jaw movement is needed. They can range from small devices that fit inside the mouth to external headgear. But don't worry: You'll get used to them, and they're temporary — but they provide a long-term benefit in a short time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to wear braces?

In most cases, patients are typically required to wear braces for 18 months to three years for effective, lasting results. However, the length it takes to complete orthodontic treatment is different for each patient and the number of issues corrected. During your initial consultation, Dr. Katz will provide you with a personalized treatment plan including an accurate timeline.

Do braces hurt?

To start, the pain is very minimal and you usually won’t feel anything for the first few hours after the braces are applied. Once the teeth start to shift, you might feel some discomfort for a few days. Since the process takes place over time, the pain is minimal. Sometimes the wire can irritate your cheek, however, you can place wax on the wire to prevent the rubbing.

Can I remove my braces and get Invisalign?

Yes, it may be possible to remove your traditional metal braces and switch to Invisalign clear aligners. If you’re interested in this orthodontic treatment, contact our Greensboro office by calling (336) 286-5800 or Eden office at (336) 627-1537 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Katz. During the consultation, Dr. Katz will assess your oral health, orthodontic issues, and determine if Invisalign will work for you.

How much do braces cost?

The cost for braces varies from patient to patient depending on your specific needs. It’s best to schedule a consultation with Dr. Katz so that he can examine your oral health and create a customized treatment plan that will include a more accurate price. 

Insurance will typically cover a portion of the expenses. We recommend checking with your provider prior to your appointment to have a better understanding of your specific coverage. If there are any questions we can answer, don’t hesitate to contact our Greensboro office by calling (336) 286-5800 or Eden office at (336) 627-1537, and a helpful team member will be happy to assist you.

A Beautiful Smile You Can Count On

Straight teeth aren't just more aesthetically pleasing, they're actually more functional as well. After undergoing orthodontic treatment, your teeth will be easier to clean, thereby lowering your risk for tooth decay. Contact our office to schedule your orthodontic consultation with Dr. Katz by calling our Greensboro office (336) 286-5800 or our Eden office at (336) 627-1537. We want you to enjoy the benefits of a healthy smile for years to come.

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Katz Orthodontics

  • Greensboro Office - Brassfield Professional Center 2018-A New Garden Rd., Greensboro, NC 27410 Phone: 336-286-5800 Fax: 336-286-5801
  • Rockingham County Office - Professional Village, Building 4, 707 S. Van Buren Rd., Eden, NC 27288 Phone: 336-627-1537 Fax: 336-286-5801

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