Brace For It: The Pros & Cons of Hidden Braces for Teens
Teenagers are grumpy creatures at the best of times, but when it comes to braces, the idea of having metal in the mouth creates a whole new level of anxiety. Now your child knows their teeth need professional dental intervention to get them straight, what options do you have to do this when traditional braces have your child not wanting to smile for the next two years? Hidden braces fitted behind the teeth are one answer, and these are the pros and cons your child needs to know.
Benefits of Hidden Braces
Low self-esteem is common among teenagers, and one reason for this is a body expectation that does not match reality. Metal braces fitted to the front of teeth heighten anxiety among young people during this growth stage. However, hidden braces sit behind the teeth, so they are not immediately noticeable. This lack of visibility of the braces are their main selling point. Here are other benefits:
- Unlike removable Invisalign straightening systems, hidden braces continue to work 24/7 so the treatment time may be shorter.
- Your teenager can't lose hidden braces due to the permanent attachment to their teeth.
- The front of the teeth won't get stained if your teen eats or drinks the wrong foods while the braces are in place; any stains conveniently hide out of plain sight.
Negatives of Hidden Braces
While there are plenty of positives about this type of straightening system, there are a couple of negative factors to consider too.
The main disadvantage about hidden braces is also a positive one: the location of these braces. Hidden braces attach behind the teeth, so are not immediately seen. However, there is limited space behind the teeth, and some wearers find this location a nuisance because their tongue automatically pokes this area. It is painful to catch your tongue on the braces brackets and wires, but the irritation is solved by applying dental wax to the braces daily. The wax stops the braces rubbing against or cutting your tongue.
The other type of "invisible" brace is the Invisalign system. This is a removable straightener which can be taken out while your teen is eating, and that means they may eat any food they like. Hidden braces, however, are like the traditional front-teeth braces system in that your teen must avoid eating hard and gummy foods while the braces are on. Some teenagers see this food restriction as another negative point.
Talk to your dentist about the custom braces choice best suited to your teenager, so you can find a system that is cost-effective, works well, and will lead to a brilliant, straight smile.