Since their conception, Invisalign® clear aligners have become the most popular orthodontic option among patients of all ages, especially teens. This product was created to help people with misaligned teeth and jaws achieve straight teeth without the need for unsightly and uncomfortable brackets and wires. In some cases, clear aligners work more effectively than traditional braces, using gentle and incremental force.
Invisalign for teens offers several benefits, but some parents may have concerns. We discuss those in this blog as well as candidacy requirements for Invisalign patients.
Invisalign for Teens Benefits
If you or someone you know has worn traditional metal braces, you know how inconvenient they can be. What makes clear aligners so convenient is that they are removable. Invisalign aligners must be removed when eating, so your teen won’t have to worry about getting food stuck in his or her braces. They can also be removed shortly if your teen has to give a speech in class or at an event.
As long as the aligners are worn at least 20-22 hours per day, they will be effective.
- Improved Oral Health
Because the aligners can be removed, it makes it much easier for teens to clean their teeth properly. Traditional braces require a special flossing tool and unique brushing techniques to be effective. Many patients who wear traditional braces experience dental staining and gum disease because their teeth are more difficult to clean.
With Invisalign clear aligners, teens can use the same brushing techniques and floss as they normally do. This will help them maintain good oral health throughout the orthodontic process.
The teenage years are hard enough without being labeled a “brace face.” Invisalign clear aligners are discreet and seamless, allowing teenagers to maintain their appearance. Instead of being a detriment to your teens self-confidence, clear aligners boost self-confidence as they work to improve his or her smile.
- Less Irritation
Traditional metal braces are known for causing mouth sores and discomfort from the wires and brackets. Clear aligners are designed with your comfort in mind. The plastic is smooth and won’t irritate your gums or cheeks.
- Fewer Trips to the Dentist’s Office
With Invisalign, your teen won’t experience broken wires or brackets. That means no emergency visits to your teens’ dentist or orthodontist office. They also won’t have to visit regularly for tightening visits.
Concerns About Invisalign for Teens
Compliance and loss are two of the main concerns about Invisalign for teens.
The only way clear aligners work is if they are worn properly. As stated earlier, the aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours per day. If your teen has a tendency to forget things or if you think he or she may be too relaxed about compliance, Invisalign might not be the best option.
Invisalign Teen offers help to parents to ensure that their teenager wears his or her aligners properly. These aligners have blue indicator dots that fade as the aligners are worn. A bright blue dot on the aligners indicated to parents that their teen isn’t wearing the aligners as often as they should.
Because clear aligners are removable, they are likely to get lost. We’ve heard many stories of aligners being thrown in the trash at lunch time. While this and other instances of the aligners being lost are never done on purpose, it will require more money and time from you and your teen.
The best way to determine if your child is a candidate for Invisalign is to visit with an experienced Invisalign dentist or orthodontist. Until then, here are three factors that qualify teens for Invisalign:
- Minor to moderate orthodontic issues. Gaps and crowding, overbites and underbites, and other minor to moderate orthodontic issues can typically be addressed with Invisalign. More severe cases may require traditional metal braces and other orthodontic treatments.
- Healthy teeth and gums. For any type of orthodontic treatments, teens should be free of cavities and gum disease. These issues can be addressed or reversed before treatment.
- Age and responsibility levels. Younger teens and teens that aren’t very responsible may do better with traditional metal braces. These put the responsibility more on the dentist than the patient, ensuring the orthodontic process is as effective as possible.
Learn More About Invisalign for Teens
Invisalign clear aligners are a great option for many teenagers. If your child’s smile needs to be straightened, our friendly and experienced Invisalign dentist can help. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.