What Is Your Child’s Smile Worth?
The value of a great smile today is nearly immeasurable. A smile can tell a lot about a person, with children and teenagers being no exception. It is never too early to start thinking about planning for the future when it comes to the best orthodontic outcome for your child.
Social Benefits of Straight Teeth
The benefits of having a great smile are numerous. Teens who feel confident in their appearance are likely to have an easier time navigating social constructs. With the rise in social media apps where photos are posted and shared amongst friends, having a confident smile has become increasingly important to teens.
Many extra-curricular activities also photograph participants and events for shared experiences throughout the community. Feeling confident in photos is a great start in building self-esteem that will carry through to other areas of life. Increased confidence can lead to overall greater feelings of happiness throughout the impressionable tween and teen years.
Your Smile Does Matter
In a recent survey, statistics show that a great smile for kids and teens can be a powerful tool that benefits them well into the future. Studies have shown that:
- 37% of people notice a smile first, even before the eyes
- 77% of people thought crooked teeth are more detrimental to one’s appearance than a receding hairline
- 78% of people associate crooked teeth with unprofessionalism
- 48% of teens have untagged themselves from a photo on social media because of their smile
- 57% of people feel they would see an improvement in some major area of life if they had a great smile
Social Drawbacks of Crooked Teeth
Having straight teeth comes with a myriad of benefits to the dental health of children, but there can also be mental health benefits. Conversely, having crooked teeth or a misaligned bite is associated with an increased risk of bullying in schoolchildren, and may cause confidence issues.
A child’s smile has implications to their quality of life. A smile can establish a sense of well-being, as well as a show of self-confidence. Studies show that children and teens with concerns regarding the appearance of their teeth show more hesitancy in smiling.
Children are more likely to suffer from low-self esteem and avoid sharing a smile if there are esthetic issues with the appearance of teeth, which may become a life-long issue. This is especially true if the behavior is learned at a young age and then ingrained throughout the teen years. Going forward this may make dating, job hunting, professional development, and overall social success seem more difficult.
Types of Orthodontic Treatment Options
There are several types of orthodontic correction for kids and teens that can be used to correct esthetic anomalies in teeth. They range from the latest in orthodontic technology to standard metal braces. These include Invisalign for teens, advanced self-ligating braces systems, and metal and ceramic braces.
Invisalign for Teens
Technological advances have made metal braces a thing of the past for those who are good candidates for Invisalign. Invisalign for teens is on the cutting edge of orthodontic advancement, and is specifically geared towards teenagers. Rather than metal brackets, Invisalign uses a series of clear custom-made trays, known as aligners, to straighten teeth over time. This results in a treatment process that is more comfortable for the wearer and much less noticeable than metal braces.
Worn for 20-22 hours per day, Invisalign for teens may be removed for eating, brushing and flossing, making dental hygiene much easier than with traditional braces. Patients change to a new custom aligner every 1 to 2 weeks, with an appointment at the orthodontist scheduled approximately every 8-10 weeks to monitor progress.
How is Invisalign for Teens Different from Invisalign?
There are a few added features that have been engineered with teens in mind, which differs from standard Invisalign. Eruption tabs are one of these features. They provide room for the back molars to come into the mouth, in children whose molars have yet to erupt. In addition to holding room, they help to guide the emerging molars into their proper placement.
Self-ligating braces are a type of braces system used in our practice and many other practices throughout the world. Self-ligating systems are different from other traditional braces systems in a few ways.
Elastic ties are not required to secure the archwire to each individual brace. Rather, a unique door or clip mechanism is used to secure the wire to the bracket. This is known as a self-ligating system.
Longer intervals between appointments can be done since advanced shape memory wires work over long periods of time and the door mechanisms holding these wires in place are generally more secure than the elastic ties in traditional systems.
Self-ligating braces require less time to adjust, thanks to the ease of the open and close door bracket features, which make putting a new wire in much simpler and quicker. This means less time for the patient in the dental chair.
There are two different types of self-ligating braces – clear and metal. The clear version is much less noticeable and is often chosen by who want a more discreet look than that of regular metal braces.
The main difference between ceramic braces and metal braces is in their appearance. Ceramic braces use ceramic material rather than metal and are clear or tooth colored in appearance. Both types of braces use archwires (although there are white-coated archwires that can be used with ceramic braces) to move the teeth. Both are used to treat typical orthodontic needs such as crooked, crowded, misaligned teeth and they both have similar treatment times. Ceramic braces may be paired with white coated wire and clear elastics – and when these are combined ceramic braces are much less noticeable than traditional metal.
First introduced many years ago, metal braces have been the industry standard for reliable orthodontic treatment for decades. Luckily, improvements made have resulted in a much less clunky metal appearance, and an easier, more comfortable experience than in the past. Metal braces now come in 3 different types:
- Traditional – The tried-and-true standard which straightens teeth with fixed brackets mounted to the front (cheek/lip side) tooth surface.
- Lingual – A take on traditional braces, but rather than mounting to the front of the tooth surface, metal brackets are mounted to the back (tongue side) of the teeth, reducing the appearance entirely.
- Self-ligating –These braces differ by the mechanism of a special ‘door’ that secures the orthodontic wire, rather than the usual elastic tie ligatures that surround each bracket. These are available in both metal and clear options.
When considering braces for kids, having a child assessed early on at the orthodontist allows for the best possible plan and the most optimal time to begin treatment. Due to greater malleability of jawbone, seeking orthodontic correction at a young age can make overall treatment less invasive. This early assessment, usually at around the age of 7, will allow time for any initial steps to be taken during an ideal time window, creating the most favorable outcome.
Schedule Your Free Orthodontic Consultation in Our Temecula or Lake Elsinore Office through Our Website Anytime or Call (951) 699-8011 During Business Hours, Monday through Thursday to Meet with Dr. Ryan Redford.