385 N. Grant St. Canby, Oregon 97013

385 N. Grant St. Canby, Oregon 97013

Surviving Braces for Teens 101: What You Need to Know

The teenage years are the best time to get braces because the baby teeth are gone, but the jawbone isn’t “set” yet, so moving the teeth is easier. The teenage years can also be tough ones when it comes to your child’s self-esteem, and crooked teeth don’t exactly help with that. 


Some teenagers are thrilled to be getting braces. Others, not so much. They think they will spend the next several years living with a mouthful of metal. The good news is there are many more options today than when we were kids. 

Teenagers can choose to accessorize their braces with their favorite elastic colors. They can choose clear braces, which are far less visible on the teeth than metal ones. They can even choose treatment with clear aligners. These options can make it easier for your children to “survive” their treatment with braces!

dental brace beautiful girl smiling looking on a camera.

Braces for Teens

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child visit an orthodontist by age 7 to see whether braces may be needed. Most permanent teeth are in by about 11 or 12, and the need for orthodontics may be more obvious. Then again, it may not. 

Your child’s teeth may seem straight, but if their jaw pops or clicks, they get headaches or jaw fatigue, or the upper middle line in their front teeth doesn’t align with the lower middle line, your child could still need braces. Ohana Orthodontics can help you determine whether your child needs braces

If your child does need treatment with braces, they have options. Ohana Orthodontics offers patients in the Canby, OR, area the options of traditional metal braces or clear braces. We also offer treatment with Invisalign clear aligners. 

Teens who wear braces from Ohana Orthodontics can choose their elastics colors with every visit, so they can truly make the look their own. They can choose their favorite color, their school colors, or even decorate their braces for the holidays! The choices are up to them. 

Invisalign for Teens

There is a braces alternative for those who want something less subtle. Invisalign and Invisalign Teen offer the power of braces with a low-profile, nearly invisible look. Made of a clear acrylic material, Invisalign can barely be seen because they’re custom-made for your child’s teeth. 

Invisalign isn’t for everyone because your child has to be vigilant in wearing them 22 hours a day for the trays to be fully effective and the treatment to work as it should. Invisalign trays are removable for meals, so your child needs to keep up with them and ensure they aren’t damaged or lost. Replacement trays can be costly. So if you’re not sure your child is ready to wear Invisalign, it may not be the best solution for them. Braces or clear braces may be the better way to go. 

girl with braces brushing her teeth

First Week With Braces

Your first week with braces may be the most challenging. You have a lot to remember, and it feels new to your mouth, and — let’s face it — your mouth will probably be a bit sore for the first few days. Here are some tips to make it easier. 

Eat Soft Foods After Getting Braces

The first 24-48 hours after getting your braces, your mouth may be pretty sore as your teeth learn to start moving. We recommend you stick to a soft food diet. For the first few days, try eating protein shakes, mashed potatoes, well-cooked pasta, soup, etc. You can return to more solid foods as your teeth get less sore. Avoid the no-no foods that can damage your braces, such as hard, sticky, or chewy foods. 

Rinse With Warm Saltwater After Braces

Rinsing a few times daily with warm salt water can soothe sore teeth and gums. Add a tablespoon of salt water to a small glass of lukewarm water. Don’t get it too hot! Slosh it around your teeth and gums well and spit it out. This should help relieve some of the soreness. 

Take Over-the-Counter Painkillers If Needed

If your mouth is still sore, try using an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, as directed. You should only need these for a few days at most. If your pain persists after a week, contact us. 

Use Dental Wax

Your mouth and tongue will “toughen up” the longer you wear braces, but they might get a bit irritated until then. We recommend using dental wax on areas irritating your cheeks or tongue. Pull off a pea-sized portion, roll it in your fingers to soften it, then mold it around the bracket or wire causing the issue. Remove it to brush or eat, and put new in afterward. Never reuse your braces wax! 

Brush and Floss Gently

Some people think you must scrub hard to clean your teeth, especially with braces. But if your gums are already irritated from your teeth starting to move, brushing hard will make them that much sorer and may cause them to bleed. Brushing hard doesn’t get your teeth any cleaner. Brush your teeth gently, and floss normally as well. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush so you don’t damage your braces. 

applying orthodontic wax on the dental braces. brackets on the teeth after whitening. self ligating brackets with metal ties and gray elastics or rubber bands for perfect smile.
ohana cta 1 peach v2

Braces and Invisalign in Canby, OR

Regarding oral health, braces are the tried-and-true method for straightening teeth and improving your bite. Straight teeth make it easier to eat, which means you avoid digestive issues later on. You also avoid sleep apnea, headaches, jaw pain, and other health issues. The sooner your dental issues are treated, the better off you will be. Schedule an appointment with Ohana Orthodontics in the Canby, OR, area, and we’ll get your child started toward the smile of their dreams!