Here at Seaman Family Dentistry in Lenexa, KS we provide orthodontic care and a full line of other dental services. This makes it easier for families, because they can have their teenager’s braces done in the same location the family receives all other dental care. Dr. Seaman has over 25 years of experience providing a variety of orthodontic services to patients of all ages.

The teen years, especially Jr. High, is a time when many of us have memories of being in braces. Many teens can’t wait to get their braces on, while others hate the idea! The one thing all teens in braces have in common, is that once the braces are on, they start counting the days until they come off. In present day, braces may even be more popular than before, since there are choices in not only metal vs porcelain braces, but also teens enjoy being able to have colored ties (the tiny rubber bands which hold the wire inside each bracket), it is common for teens to routinely pick various color combinations for each adjustment.

Whether or not your teen is looking forward to braces, the teen years are a great time to straighten teeth and correct bites. Although some jaw development issues are best treated at a younger age, most can also be treated as a teen. The bone in teen jaws is not as set in its shape as it is in adults, so the bone can still be molded by moving teeth and at times re-directing the full development of the jaw.

Why Is Orthodontic Treatment Important?

Orthodontic services, including braces, are not just a cosmetic solution to a more appealing smile. If your teen has incorrect positioning between the upper and lower teeth (the way they bite together – the occlusion), this can cause serious jaw problems in the adult years, if it is not corrected. The upper and lower teeth are meant to fit together in a certain way, if they do not, then the bones and muscles in the jaw will grow differently in an attempt to adjust for this, causing more problems. The video below illustrates the proper alignment of the bite, how the upper and lower teeth are supposed to fit together.

Orthodontic Problems: Ideal Alignment and Occlusion

Not only can improper bites be corrected at this age, but the teeth themselves are also moved to straighten turned teeth, create more space to move teeth into their proper position, close areas where there is too much space between teeth, and more. Having this done is also not just cosmetic, when teeth are correctly positioned in the arch and the spacing between them is ideal, this makes keeping the teeth cleaned much easier. When teeth are not properly positioned, more areas for plaque to hide are created, causing more areas for cavities to form and increased tartar build up and as an adult this can significantly contribute to the development of gum disease. By providing your teenager with orthodontic care, you are putting them on the right track for healthier teeth and gums into their adult years. The video below explains how braces are used to properly align the teeth.

Braces: Braces to Align Teeth

You should contact our office in Lenexa, KS to discuss orthodontic services for your teen if notice any of the following problems:

  • Permanent teeth are crooked or seem overcrowded
  • Upper teeth stick out too far
  • Lower jaw sticks out passed upper teeth
  • One or more teeth on the upper are further inward than the lower teeth
  • One or more permanent teeth do not appear to be growing in
  • One or more permanent teeth are growing in where they should not be located
  • There is a lot of space between teeth and it appears all the permanent teeth have come in
  • There is a space or gap between the front permanent teeth
  • Your teen is complaining about pain, stiffness, or immobility in their jaw
  • When biting down there is an opening between the front upper and lower teeth

Before starting orthodontic treatment, a full set of orthodontic records (x-rays, photos, and models) will be necessary for a full treatment plan to be developed. With this information Dr. Robert Seaman is able to determine what changes need to be made, whether braces alone or in conjunction with another appliance will accomplish the needed changes, and the approximate time frame it will take to achieve the desired result. Once this has been determined, he will meet with you for a full orthodontic consultation to discuss all these areas and the costs for your teen’s treatment plan. We provide various financial options for orthodontics and during your consultation we will go over this information as well, in addition to any coverage you may have under your dental insurance plan. If you are interested in videos on the various conditions treated with orthodontics, we have more videos on our Orthodontics page.

Understanding Dental Braces

Dental braces are typically used on teens and we, at times, also use various appliances in conjunction with the braces to get the bite and the teeth just right for a lifetime of nice smiles. Although it varies, braces are usually worn about 2 years followed by retainers. Monthly visits to our office are needed to make adjustments and keep things moving in the right direction. The videos below will illustrate the topics commonly asked about braces – including the components which make up dental braces.

Braces: How Braces are Applied

Braces: Getting to Know Your Braces

Braces: Elastics to Correct Bite

Appliances: Retention

Visit our page dedicated to braces, to learn even more about the subject, the types of dental braces we offer, and to check out our frequently asked questions about braces section.

Home Care During Orthodontic Treatment

During orthodontic treatment it is especially important to keep the teeth and braces very, very clean! Braces make it easy for food and plaque to accumulate around the hardware and it takes special effort to keep this cleaned up. When your teen has their braces put on in our office, we will provide him or her with a home care kit, it includes a special type of toothbrush which help clean these areas better. If your teenager is also wearing an appliance, they need to be sure to clean their appliance with a toothbrush and paste each time they brush their teeth.

Braces: Cleaning Your Braces

Appliances: Cleaning your Appliances

We look forward to hearing from you about your teenagers orthodontic needs, give us a call with questions or to schedule an appointment.