Braces for Teens

The teen years are the most common time to get orthodontic treatment. It's frequently started between the ages of 12 and 16 since most permanent teeth will be in place.

teen girl smiling

Get a Beautiful New Smile

Experienced orthodontists like the Drs. Booth easily detect issues with spacing, crowding, bite, and alignment.

Some of our teen patients may have even started Phase I treatment at an earlier age, and are now following it up with full braces or other orthodontic treatment.

Watch for These Issues

Untreated dental problems can have a lasting impact on a teen’s oral and overall health.

If you notice any of the following issues, contact us for a free consultation, as they could be signs your teen may benefit from orthodontic treatment.

  • Early, late, or irregular loss of their baby teeth
  • Difficulty with chewing or biting
  • Crowding or extra spacing between teeth
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Frequent biting of the cheek or the inside of the mouth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
  • Protrusion of their teeth

Bad Bites

Early diagnosis and successful treatment of certain bite problems can benefit your teen in the short and long-term.

You can minimize problems classified as bad bites with the proper orthodontic treatment. These bad bites include:

  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Missing or extra teeth
  • An overbite or underbite
  • Incorrect jaw position
  • A disorder of the jaw joint

Benefits to Orthodontics for Teens

Straight teeth that have responded well to orthodontic treatment, include benefits, like:

  • Being less prone to wear and tear, chipping, and tooth trauma
  • Being easier to keep clean, helping to prevent tooth decay and cavities
  • Reducing the chances of developing gum disease, which can result in bone loss, decay, and tooth loss
  • Improving proper chewing and digestion of food

teen patient smiling

Teen Treatments

Metal Braces

The most popular and well-known orthodontic appliance, traditional metal braces hardly need an introduction. It may surprise you, that today's braces are much smaller and sleeker than their past incarnations. They’re lighter, more comfortable, and also easily customizable when you choose the color of your elastic ties.

Ceramic Braces

Also known as clear braces, these work the same way metal braces, but feature brackets made from clear ceramic materials which blend in with your teen’s smile, making them much less obvious. Since ceramic braces are slightly more prone to breakage, are susceptible to staining, and a little costlier than metal braces, they may not be suitable for everyone.


The Invisalign system is made up of a series of fully customized, clear trays called aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. Made of soft plastic, they provide a more comfortable orthodontic experience, with no friction or abrasions inside the mouth.

Each aligner is changed out weekly for the next in the set. When worn the recommended 20-22 hours per day, your teeth or your teen’s teeth will gradually move into the desired positions.

Playing Sports

If your teen athlete is wearing traditional braces, it'll be essential to protect their smile in order to keep on track with treatment.

We strongly recommend that they use an orthodontic mouthguard to protect their braces, and their mouth, from any potential injury. With the use of a proper orthodontic mouthguard, any contact sport can be played with braces.

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, teens using this system can simply take their aligner out before practice or a game, and put it back in afterward.

How Long Treatment Takes

Every mouth is different, and every patient responds to treatment in their own way, so treatment time with metal braces will vary on a case-by-case. But, with our hyper-efficient techniques, most of our patients spend between 12-15 months in braces.

We have patients in braces for as little as six months, and for complex issues, it can take up to two years to complete the braces process. With metal braces, you can often see signs of improvement to your smile in just a short period of time, and that can help give you confidence inspiration during your treatment.

After this phase of treatment is complete, your teen will need to wear a retainer full time for about 4-6 months, then at night for as long as you would like the teeth to stay in their new positions.


Traditional metal braces can potentially affect the way your teen plays some instruments.

Most musicians adapt quickly and are able to perform just as well with braces on. Invisalign is an excellent alternative treatment, as removing the aligner before playing allows complete freedom for your teen’s music-making abilities.

Shorter Treatment Time

Although adults can, and do, successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the jaws and teeth of teenagers often respond more quickly to orthodontic treatment, shortening their total treatment time.

Invest in Your Teen's Smile

Orthodontic treatment is truly an investment in your child’s future. By scheduling a free consultation, we'll be happy to discuss the benefits of treatment with both of you, as well as any of the potential risks associated with delaying or foregoing treatment.