Braces have long been a staple of the teenage years. When we were growing up, most of our friends probably had them, all at about the same time. As technology has progressed, Invisalign® Teen has emerged as an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces.
A Quick Look At Invisalign® For Teens
Made to Move: YouTube Series
The many benefits of Invisalign® Teen include:
Superior aesthetics as there are no brackets and wires
They can be removed, hence will not interfere with sports
They don’t interfere with playing musical instruments in band and orchestra
Teens with sensory processing and oral aversions may find clear aligner more tolerable
Generally less painful and uncomfortable
Better oral hygiene and lower chances of developing cavities
Generally fewer visits are required
Overall, your teen will feel that their life is uninterrupted during Invisalign® treatment. Invisalign® can be removed for school pictures, social events, eating, brushing, and flossing. Less achy teeth prior to the big final. Invisalign® is customized to fit your kid’s mouth, are clear, removable, comfortable and provide excellent results.
How does Invisalign® Teen work?
Invisalign® Teen is a clear aligner system for teeth, made specifically for teenagers. It provides an almost invisible way of straightening teeth using clear, removable aligners that are custom-made specifically for your teen’s teeth. Traditional braces use wires, brackets, and bands, while Invisalign® replaces all of these appliances with simple, clear aligners. Invisalign® looks similar to the plastic retainers that most teenagers get when they are done with their metal braces treatment.
How can these plastic trays actually move your teen’s teeth? They do it in a very similar way to how braces move your teeth. The aligners put pressure or tension on ligaments surrounding your teeth, gradually shifting them into a better position. Every two weeks, your teen will trade out the old aligner for a new one, and their teeth will continue to move. There may be some discomfort as the teeth adjust to the new aligner, but there is generally less discomfort than with metal braces.
Is Invisalign® more expensive than other types of treatments?
In most cases, the costs are about the same. We have found that one of the reasons many parents decide on metal braces instead of Invisalign® is the misconception that Invisalign® is more expensive than other treatments. If your insurance covers Invisalign®, you'll find that traditional braces and Invisalign® treatments cost relatively the same.
What happens if my teen loses an aligner?
In general, you can simply get a replacement by contacting us and letting us know that the aligners have gone missing. Depending on how close your teen was to swapping out those aligners for the next set, we might just move on to the next set and not worry about a replacement.
How many hours a day does my teen need to wear their aligners?
In order for treatment to be as effective as possible, your teen needs to wear their aligners for a minimum of 22 hours every day. This gives them plenty of time to take them out for eating and oral hygiene, otherwise they should be worn at all times. Sometimes, your teen might have extracurricular activities that require them to remove those aligners, like band or sports, but Invisalign® aligners are designed to be discreet enough that they can be worn at all other times without disrupting your teen’s life.
Are there any diet restrictions?
With metal braces, there are lots of diet restrictions and it can be very difficult to determine whether or not your teen is actually following those restrictions. With Invisalign® for teens, there are no dietary restrictions. In fact, because your teen can remove the aligners completely from his or her mouth when it is time to eat, they can eat whatever they like, whenever they’d like.
What are some common issues with Invisalign®?
The biggest issue we see with Invisalign® for teen patients is that they simply do not wear their aligners enough, especially in the beginning. There is an initial adjustment period during which your teen might speak with a little bit of a lisp or notice increased saliva production as their mouth adjusts to something new. This can be very discouraging to a teen but if they keep wearing their aligners, those issues will go away. It’s a commitment that both the parent and teen have to agree to fulfill.
How can I know if my teen is wearing their aligners?
We will be able to tell whether or not they have been wearing their aligners when your teen comes in for checkups. If things are progressing at the right rate, it will be obvious that they have been diligent about wearing those aligners as much as possible. If things are lagging behind a little bit, this could be an indication that they have not been wearing them as often as they should have been. If they are far behind on their treatment, we can attribute this to not wearing their aligners as prescribed.
If your teen is not compliant with Invisalign®, we can always switch to regular braces. However, there may be an additional charge.