For Teens

Orthodontics for Teens

Braces, retainers, and everything else you want to know about orthodontics!

You’ve just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!”

Braces! What now?

Don’t worry! Braces aren’t nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, which makes life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.

How long will I have to wear braces?

The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:

  • Early treatment — Most of the early treatment Dr. Donnelly recommends is orthopedic in nature (not braces). Orthopedic treatment is limited to when a child is growing. It is the ideal time to correct skeletal abnormalities like overbites, underbites, cross bites, and severe crowding. In most cases Dr. Donnelly’s early treatment will prevent the need for extraction of permanent teeth and jaw surgery. He has found that placement of braces for early treatment is usually not needed, because braces are the most effective when most or all of the permanent teeth are erupted.
  • What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete his or her treatment, it may take another 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you desire.
  • YOU! Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!

    Braces Your Way!

    Our practice offers a variety of braces, types, and styles to choose from. Some common options include:

    • Ceramic braces
    • Invisible braces
    • Traditional metal braces

    What can I eat while wearing braces?

    You’ve probably heard from your parents, friends, and even your orthodontist about the long list of foods and beverages you should avoid while wearing braces. While it may seem like you’re giving up a lot, it is important to avoid eating certain foods. We also want you to enjoy your braces experience, so here’s a quick list of foods to avoid and foods to embrace while wearing braces.

    Foods to avoid while wearing braces

    Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
    Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
    Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
    Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
    Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

    Foods you CAN eat while wearing braces

    Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
    Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
    Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
    Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
    Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
    Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
    Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
    Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

    Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today’s braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.