Invisalign Teen: Clear Braces for Adolescents
Braces are a rite of passage for many adolescents. Being just one more teen with braces, however, doesn’t make the noticeable appearance of the brackets and wires and the discomfort (and self-consciousness) they cause any easier to accept. For teenagers who aren’t lucky enough to avoid the “you need braces” diagnosis, there is still hope for a discreet way to get straight teeth – Invisalign Teen.
How Does Invisalign Teen Work?
Invisalign Teen works exactly like Invisalign for adults. Invisalign is designed to move teeth consistently, a few at a time, until bite and teeth are in complete alignment. The aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day, no exceptions. Dental visits take place about every six weeks so your Arlington Invisalign provider can confirm that treatment is progressing as it should and new sets of aligners can be collected. The aligners get changed according to your dentist’s instructions, usually every two weeks.
There are a few characteristics of Invisalign Teen, however, that make the treatment differ from traditional Invisalign:
- Wear indicators: For parents who worry that their teen isn’t responsible enough for Invisalign Teen, there is a back-up plan built into this treatment. Every aligner has a blue dot wear indicator that fades as the aligners are worn, revealing to the dentist whether the aligners are on your teen’s teeth often as they should be.
- Eruption tabs: Teen mouths that are free of baby teeth are ready for braces, but some adolescents may still have teeth that are popping up. Invisalign Teen is designed with eruption tabs to help guide new teeth into their proper position. This unique feature ensures that additional alignment issues don’t develop in the middle of treatment.
- Replacement aligners: Even the most responsible and dedicated teens can lose, misplace, damage, or toss an aligner by accident. Thank goodness Invisalign Teen comes with six replacement aligners.
The Many Benefits of Invisalign Teen
Invisalign is a commitment, but it’s worth it, as any wearer will tell you, to have such a discreet way to get straight teeth. The perks far outweigh any cons.
- No food restrictions: One of the most notable elements of Invisalign, and one that teens especially appreciate, is that aligners must be removed for all meals and snacks. That means there are no food restrictions like there are with conventional metal braces. Teens who love their pizza and popcorn and crunchy, sticky, chewy foods will find great pleasure in knowing they will not be limited in their enjoyment of the good stuff.
- Discreet: No one will notice if you’re wearing Invisalign Teen. The clear aligners are practically invisible. Teens see the advantage in this orthodontic method and appreciate the opportunity to get a beautiful smile without anyone really knowing about it, and without an obvious interruption in their appearance in the process.
- Comfortable: Invisalign aligners are smooth and thin. They don’t poke at the lips and gums like metal brackets and wires. Once in place, the aligners are simply part of your teeth so you can smile and speak without anyone being the wiser about your orthodontic treatment.
Teens who play sports, play an instrument, sing in the chorus, act in the drama production, are on the debate team, or are in student government can all be potential candidates for Invisalign Teen, and their extracurricular activities won’t be interrupted because of orthodontics.
Teens need all the help they can get in developing a healthy self-image and self-confidence. If you could avoid the potential pitfalls that come along with metal braces, wouldn’t you? Teens want that even more. They don’t want their selfies, social life, or self-esteem to take a hit because of braces.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign Teen?
Invisalign can correct nearly any alignment problem that conventional braces can correct, from crooked to gapped teeth, but every patient is different. How your teen’s teeth are erupting, the severity of their misalignment, and the position of their bite will all impact whether Invisalign Teen is a viable option.
As for whether a teen can handle the demands of Invisalign, a parent would know the answer to this best. However, most adolescents are so thrilled to have invisible braces that they are motivated to follow the rules and do everything as instructed to make this orthodontic treatment work for them.