By: Dr. Aly Kanani, Orthodontic Specialist and Invisalign Teen Provider
Helping your son or daughter enjoy straighter teeth doesn’t mean they have to walk around wearing metal brackets and wires for 1 or 2 years. Instead, Invisalign Orthodontics offers a convenient line of braces just for teens. Invisalign Teen offers the same great benefits of traditional adult Invisalign braces, with a few added bonuses!
What is Invisalign Teen?
Invisalign Teen is like traditional Invisalign with a few extra features. With benefits like wear-indicators and replacement trays (for when one is misplaced,) you can be sure your teen enjoys the best results possible from their orthodontic treatment.
Just like Invisalign, Invisalign Teen features the same crystal clear alignment trays that look invisible when worn over your teen’s smile. During casual conversations no one will ever even realize that they are there. Invisalign Teen is a perfect choice for teens that feel too self-conscious to wear metal braces or are worried about the discomfort of traditional orthodontics. The smooth, custom fitted aligners provide the most comfortable fit available in modern orthodontics.
How to Tell if Your Teen is Wearing Their Aligners
Each set of Invisalign Teen alignment trays feature a blue-dot “wear indicator.” If your teen wears their aligners as prescribed by his or her orthodontist, the dot will begin to fade once it is time to change the aligners out with the next set. If the dot isn’t changing colors, you know your teen hasn’t been wearing your orthodontics the way their treatment routine requires them to.
Aligners are designed to be worn for two weeks at a time, no fewer than 20-22 hours each day. This provides your teen enough time to remove them for meals and oral hygiene. After two weeks the aligners are changed out with the next set in the series, which progresses the tooth movement process. Assuring that your teen wears their aligners properly means they spend less total time in their orthodontic appliances.
Erase “White Circles” From Your Teen’s Straight Smile
Have you ever seen a teenager that wore traditional braces for 2 or 3 years, only to wind up having large white circles all over his or her straight teeth? These circular scars are due to plaque that isn’t removed properly each day. Just a small amount of plaque biofilm etches the enamel surface, as if it were creating a cavity.
Invisalign Teen patients can benefit from improved oral health and avoid the dreaded “white circles.” How? Because with removable aligners it is much easier to ensure clean teeth and gums after brushing and flossing each day. No special oral hygiene aids are needed. Keeping the teeth clean is as simple as it gets! Even the aligners are very easy to care for. Simply brush them with a toothbrush and water to remove any debris.
Many teens also have problems with gingivitis because of their orthodontic appliances interfering with their oral hygiene habits. Removing the aligners makes it easier to brush near the gumlines and floss around the teeth. That’s why Invisalign Teen patients typically have healthier, cleaner smiles than teenagers that wear conventional braces with so many wires and brackets in the way.
Avoid Injuries Associated with Braces
Teens have active lifestyles. Whether it’s being involved in athletics or playing an instrument in the high school band – conventional braces can interfere with their activities. Injuries are a common side effect. For instance, if playing a horn in the band, it may bump the lips into the metal braces, causing tissue irritation or sores. Even wearing a mouthguard during an athletic game may be difficult. Since there are no exposed wires in the mouth, there is no risk of injury from everyday bumps.
When wearing Invisalign Teen aligners, there isn’t a concern that braces will get in the way. The aligners can be worn during the activity, or even removed. The smooth trays allow the lips and cheeks to glide over the aligners without unnecessary irritation.
No Need to Restrict Your Teen’s Diet
With regular braces, everyday foods can cause broken appliances, wires and brackets. Popcorn, nuts, taffy, carrots and apples would all be off limits. Teens may try to eat foods that wind up breaking their braces and interfering with their tooth movement. Instead of omitting foods from your family’s menu, Invisalign Teen patients just take their aligners out during meals. This allows your teen to eat whatever they like, because there is no risk of anything breaking. Just be sure to place the aligners back into the mouth once the meal is over!
Fewer, Shorter Appointments for People with Busy Schedules
If you’re like most families, you rush all over town for school and extracurricular activities. Fitting in frequent orthodontic adjustment appointments is difficult, not to mention uncomfortable. With traditional braces, adjustments are needed more frequently in order to progress the tooth movement. Not with Invisalign Teen! Your teen will get to bring several sets of alignment trays home at once, changing them out every two weeks. This eliminates the need for longer, more frequent visits. Most Invisalign Teen patients only have a short appointment every 8 to 12 weeks to pick up new aligners and to have their progress evaluated by their orthodontic specialist.
Replacing Lost Aligners
Being an active young adult means that sometimes things are misplaced. Going way to summer camp or taking out an aligner during a school lunch are both classic examples of when an Invisalign tray might accidentally be misplaced or lost. Thankfully Invisalign understands this. Invisalign Teen patients can enjoy up to 6 complimentary replacement aligners during their course of treatment.
It’s time to have your son or daughter evaluated for Invisalign Teen. Having straighter teeth can help them enjoy better oral health and even a boost in self-confidence. Most Invisalign Teen patients complete their treatment between 12-24 months. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.