Twenty years ago, when a teen was told he/she needed braces, this is what they had to look forward to...
Today, braces are considered to be cool, and some teens can't wait to get them. Braces now come in many flattering colors. http://www.pbhs.com/ortho/braces/braces.html (Check out all the hot new colors available today.)
There are lots of teens, who don't have perfect teeth. Your dentist might notice a problem with crooked teeth, an overbite or an underbite during a regular visit and recommend that your teen see an orthodontist.
- Early or late loss of teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing or loud snoring
- Speech difficulty
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
- Protruding teeth
If you observe any of these problems in your teen, regardless of age, you should consult an orthodontist. The AAO recommends that children see an orthodontist by their 7th birthday.
WHY STRAIGHTEN TEETH?
- Straight teeth will help your teen to effectively chew and speak.
- Straight teeth contribute to healthy teeth and gums.
- Properly aligned teeth and jaws may alleviate or prevent physical health problems. -
- Having an attractive smile is a wonderful feeling.
- Having an attractive smile is a vital component of self confidence.
- A teen's self esteem often improves after orthodontic treatment.
- It has been clinically proven that a beautiful smile leads to higher self esteem.
1. HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WEAR BRACES?
The time required to wear braces varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the problem; the amount of room available; the distance the teeth must travel; the health of the teeth, gums, and supporting bone; and how closely the patient follows instructions. On average, once the braces are put on, they usually remain in place for one to two years. After the braces are removed, most patients will need to wear a retainer all the time for the first six months, then only during sleep for several years.
2. WILL BRACES BE PAINFUL?
Some of the adjustments the orthodontist may make to your teen's braces may make their mouth feel sore or uncomfortable. When needed, over-the-counter pain relievers like Motrin or Tylenol can help relieve the pain. If they always experience a lot of pain after their braces are adjusted, talk to their orthodontist about it; he/she may be able to make the adjustments a bit differently.
3. CAN I CONTINUE TO PLAY SPORTS WHILE WEARING BRACES?
If your teen has braces, he/she can continue to participate in any sport they choose. When playing sports where there is a possibility of getting hit in the mouth, a specially designed mouthguard will need to be worn. The mouthguard, made of durable plastic, is designed to fit comfortably over their braces and will protect the soft tissues inside their mouth.
4. HOW DO BRACES WORK?
Braces straighten teeth by putting steady pressure on your teen's teeth and by staying in place for a certain amount of time. Most teens just need regular braces with wires and rubber bands keeping pressure on the teeth. The wires on their braces help to move their teeth, and the rubber bands help correct the alignment of their teeth.
5. WHAT WILL LIFE BE LIKE WITH BRACES?
Your teen will need to keep their teeth especially clean. They will have to brush after meals and be extra careful to get out any food that gets stuck in their braces. Their orthodontist may give them a special flosser to use to floss in and around their braces. Your teen will have to avoid certain foods, such as popcorn, hard and sticky candy, and gum. Sugary sodas and juices can be a problem, because the sugar stays on their teeth and may cause tooth decay. Your teen can have these drinks occasionally, but they will have to be sure to brush afterwards.
6. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE BRACES COME OFF?
After their braces are taken off, their teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. Their orthodontist may take another set of x-rays and bite impressions to check how well the braces straightened their teeth and to see if any wisdom teeth have developed. If wisdom teeth are beginning to come in after the braces have been removed, their orthodontist may recommend the wisdom teeth be pulled to prevent their newly straightened teeth from shifting position. Their orthodontist will also fit your teen with a retainer.
MYTHS AND FACTS:
MYTH: My family dentist says he can straighten my teen's teeth.
FACT: An orthodontist has two to three years beyond dental school and is a specialist at straightening teeth and insuring proper form and function.
MYTH: Braces are for kids.
FACT: One in five orthodontic patients are an adult.
MYTH: If there was a giant, overhead magnet and someone flipped a switch, people wearing braces would fly out of their chairs and stick to the ceiling.
FACT: Unlikely, braces are made from non-magnetic materials.
MYTH: Braces are painful and take two years or more for the desired result.
FACT: After the adjustment period, like breaking in a pair of shoes, braces are comfortable. Some may be worn for only months, not years.
MYTH: Braces are ugly, call attention to themselves, and are embarrassing.
FACT: No more wires and brackets. Today's braces may be nearly invisible, made from clear plastic, or unseen, mounted on the back side of the teeth.
2. Emma Roberts (Unfabulous, Hotel for Dogs)
5. Cameron Diaz (Charlie's Angels)
6. Tia and Tamara Mowry (Sister, Sister & Twitches)
FUN RECIPES JUST FOR BRACES:
This braces-friendly pizza is delicious, distinctive and oh-so satisfying! Made with cornbread mix and a dash of Parmesan.
2 (8½-ounce) boxes dry cornbread mix
1 cup milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 jar or can (about 26 ounces) spaghetti sauce, any flavor
1 tablespoon oregano
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Toppings of your choice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-to-35 minutes total.
In a large bowl, stir together the 2 boxes of dry cornbread mix, 2 eggs, milk and Parmesan cheese. Grease a 9” x 13” pan, and also grease 6 muffin-pan cups (or line them with cupcake papers). Spoon batter into the 6 muffin cups, about halfway, as this is extra batter. (You’ll have muffins for another meal – they’re great with chili.) Then spread the remaining batter into the 9” x 13” pan and spread the spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with oregano.
Bake the pizza and the muffins at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and remove both from oven. Sprinkle the pizza with the mozzarella cheese and any other toppings, then bake it at an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into squares.
Chef Amee’s Gourmet Touch:
To make two specialty “soft” pizzas, bake them in two round cake pans and top with your favorite toppings. Add 1 tablespoon of dried Italian herbs to the pizza crust along with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder for added flavor.
*FABULOUS FRUIT SMOOTHIES:
For a quick, soothing breakfast or afternoon snack, put together the ingredients ahead of time. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator ready to whip together in a blender.
2 bananas1 cup of milk1 cup of other fruit (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges – fresh or thawed from frozen)2 tablespoons of protein powder (optional)
Cut bananas into 1-inch slices. Add all ingredients to a blender, and mix for 10 seconds on a low setting. Makes two servings.
*TWISTY SOFT PRETZELS
These twisty soft pretzels are tasty with a dash of salt – or sweet with a shake of sugar and cinnamon. Plus, they’re easy to make. Pop a batch in the oven today!
¾ cup warm water
½ envelope yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
Pinches of salt or cinnamon-sugar
Preheat oven to 425°. In a small bowl, stir together warm water, yeast and sugar. In a large mixing bowl, mix salt and flour with a large spoon. After 5 minutes, stir yeast mix into flour mix.
With well-floured hands, shape dough into 6-inch rods, initials, animals or traditional twisted pretzel shapes. Brush with the beaten egg and place on a greased cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle with extra salt or cinnamon-sugar.
Bake for 12 minutes at 425°.
*These tasty recipes are from Pamela Waterman and chef Amee Hoge, authors of The Braces Cookbook 2.
For more braces-friendly recipes, go to: http://www.braces.org/JustForKids/Recipes.cfm#
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is a resource for parents to learn more about orthodontic treatments and provides general tips on how to achieve healthy, beautiful smiles and find an orthodontist near you: http://www.braces.org/JustForKids/index.cfm