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Teeth Straightening Options for Adults, Teens and Children

Learn about teeth straightening options for adults, teens and children in this blog post.

In years’ past, teenagers made up the majority of orthodontic patients, but some people never had the opportunity to get braces. Maybe their parents were too busy, or it just didn’t fit into their family’s budget. 

Today, there are a variety of teeth straightening options for every situation. Although braces may seem like a cut-and-dry subject, getting orthodontic treatment is different for every age group. Adults and children alike can benefit from customised treatment with our Ottawa Orthodontist!

Teeth Straightening Options for Adults

Adults choose to get orthodontic treatment for several different reasons. Some of the most popular concerns we hear include:

  • Experiencing relapse after not wearing a retainer
  • Natural tooth shifting as you get older
  • Gaps or spacing concerns because of tooth loss
  • Embarrassment or cosmetic concerns
  • Wanting a cosmetic alternative to traditional braces
  • Being able to get or afford braces for the first time

Teeth straightening options for adults usually consist of clear aligners (such as Invisalign), ceramic braces, or traditional, metal braces. Each type of adult braces has its own advantages. We’ll walk you through our recommendations as to which one best fits your situation. Every smile is different!

One of the most common questions we hear is, “Am I too old for braces?” Usually there’s no aging out of adult orthodontics. If Invisalign is something you want to get when you’re 50 or 60, it’s always an option! Yes, you can get braces if you’re retired.

Most of our adult patients prefer wearing clear aligners or tooth coloured braces. With the former, your trays are translucent and practically invisible. You can also remove them when you’re eating or giving a public presentation, so they won’t interfere with your day to day lifestyle. With ceramic orthodontic braces you get the added advantage of fixed appliances that blend in with the overall colour of your smile. 

Straightening Teeth: Options for Teens

The teen years are a great time for straightening teeth. Options for teens generally consist of traditional braces or — for more responsible teenagers — removable aligners like Invisalign. 

As a teenager, tooth alignment is significantly affected by growth and development of facial bones. If the jaw is narrow or protruded, it impacts how the teeth align. Since your teen is still physically growing, it’s a great time to adjust and modify their oral and facial features with braces. That way everything is fine tuned before their bones are fully formed. 

Most teenagers enjoy the idea of wearing traditional braces. Being able to select different colours of elastic bands is fun for things like showing off school spirit or during the holidays. If you have a teen who is hesitant about fixed brackets and wires, Invisalign may be an option. The key is having enough faith that they’ll be able to keep up with aligners throughout the day and wear them as directed. Otherwise, it may take longer to complete their teeth straightening treatment. 

Children’s Teeth Straightening Options

For most younger children, it’s best to complete “Phase I” braces with orthodontic appliances like an expander or traditional bracket and wire systems. These growth modification and early intervention phases help position their teeth in a way that encourages proper eruption and alignment of their future adult teeth. 

It may seem odd to discuss children’s teeth straightening options at such a young age, but Phase I treatments can shorten the length of time your teen wears braces later. 

Most orthodontic and pediatric dentistry experts recommend that all children have a bite evaluation with an orthodontist by age 7. At this point in your child’s oral development, they’ll have a combination of both adult and baby teeth. It’s a great opportunity to pinpoint risks for tooth misalignment in the future. 

When it comes to children’s teeth straightening options, we will usually recommend things like growth modification devices or traditional fixed braces. 

When is Teeth Straightening Surgery Necessary?

Sometimes there’s more to teeth straightening than just the alignment or spacing of your teeth. It could be that your jaw bone anatomy makes it where your upper and lower teeth can’t align properly. Or, there may be impacted teeth that don’t erupt. Things like the width and length of your jaws are an important factor in determining your best course of care.

If natural bone anatomy is a factor that prevents correct tooth alignment, surgery may be necessary. Fortunately, it’s usually reserved for more moderate to complex orthodontic cases and isn’t something you’ll hear about every day. If for any reason Dr. Cohen suspects that it’s necessary to perform teeth straightening surgery, he’ll be sure to address the issue during your initial consultation. 

Anytime teeth straightening surgery is recommended, your care will usually be completed in conjunction with an oral surgeon.

Orthodontist vs. Dentist

Since orthodontists’ offices are better equipped to provide a wider variety of braces, you’ll have access to more teeth straightening options. 

Some dentists offer braces in their private practices. Usually it’s restricted to one or two choices and more minor tooth misalignment. Although all dentists receive foundational orthodontic training, some prefer to take additional courses after completing dental school. However, an orthodontist has an additional 2-3 full years of specialized training to become an expert in the field. If you want a specific type of braces or require more detailed treatment, they’ll likely refer you to an orthodontic clinic like Braces Haven.

Orthodontists specialize in teeth straightening for all ages, whether it be a young child, teenager, or adult. They’ll review every option available so that you can play an active part in deciding which treatment is best for you or your family member. 

Ottawa Orthodontic Consultations & Free Exams

A straighter smile is just one phone call away. Contact Braces Haven in Ottawa to request a personal consultation and free exam with Dr. Charles Cohen. We offer a full line of braces options for all ages. Be sure to ask about our flexible payment plans!