Treatment Options for Teens

Orthodontics can be beneficial at any age however most patients are treated during the teenage years. The reason is because a large majority of facial growth occurs at this time and guiding this process is a big factor in orthodontic treatment success.

If orthodontic treatment is appropriately timed with facial growth and development better alignment and ultimately stability of the alignment is achievable.

Aside from that, by the age of 11-14 most if not all of the adult teeth have erupted and now able to be aligned into the proper positions.

What are the treatment options for my teen?

After we have collected all of the diagnostic records we discuss treatment options during the consultation appointment. There are often several treatment options available and we strive to find the best option that fits the needs of your teen. We offer several types of braces and clear aligners. Depending on the circumstance a teen may be best treated by braces only but oftentimes both braces and clear aligners are an option.


Why braces?

Braces continue to be the gold standard in terms of an orthodontists ability to move teeth. Some tooth movements are just not predictable with clear aligners and therefore braces need to be used to achieve good results.

What types of braces do you offer?

Braces technology has come a long way since most parents were treated. We have invested in implementing the latest braces innovations in our practice all in an effort to provide our patients with the best treatment possible.

Empower SL / Empower Clear

Most orthodontic brackets used are traditional brackets where a rubber or wire ligature is used to hold the wire in the bracket. This is where the colors come from on the brackets. This is also where parents remember “tightening” of the braces with a twisting motion.

Our brackets are called self-ligating (SL) brackets. SL brackets eliminate the need for a rubber or wire ligature by replacing them with a door on the bracket. Traditional brackets forced the orthodontist to see patients often to change the rubber ties to ensure tooth movement. The door on self-ligating brackets allows for more precise tooth movements and less frequent appointments. The SL brackets are also smaller and therefore more comfortable and easier to clean. Clear SL brackets are also more esthetic than traditional clear brackets and eliminate the need for clear ligatures that can stain and discolor between appointments.

How does it work?

Once the patient scan is imported into the Lightforce software we are able to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient. The completed plan is then used to generate the one of a kind brackets via 3D printing and ready for use in treatment.



What are clear aligners? What are the clear aligner options for my teen?

Clear aligners are a removable alternative to traditional braces orthodontics. They work by moving teeth with a series of plastic trays. These trays are changed on a weekly basis as the movement progresses. Not every patient is a candidate for clear aligner treatment. Dr. Varble will let you know in the consultation appointment if clear aligners are a good option for your teen. We offer many options when it comes to clear aligners. You may have heard of Invisalign, the most widely known clear aligner treatment. Dr. Varble is a certified Invisalign provider for teens. We offer a wide variety of customized clear aligner options in our office. Treatment success is dependent on a patient’s ability to wear the aligners 22 hours per day only removing them to eat and clean the teeth.

clear aligners


Aligner Simulation Before


Aligner Simulation After

What are things to consider with deciding between braces and clear aligners for my teen?

This is probably the most important question to ask as a family. Both treatment options require a certain amount of responsibility on the part of the patient to be successful. Braces are fixed meaning they are glued to the teeth and therefore make brushing and flossing more difficult. Your teen will be asked to maintain ideal oral hygiene during the treatment to prevent gum swelling and teeth staining. Clear aligners are removable and therefore taken out to eat, brush, and floss. This makes it easier to maintain the health of the teeth. Most teens have great experiences with clear aligner treatment.

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