Many teenagers want to straighten teeth to create a beautiful smile and are often motivated to seek out orthodontic treatment to improve their overall appearance. Traditional braces require fixing metal braces to teeth for a long period of time, followed by wearing a retainer. Some teens do not like the idea of wearing braces and are looking for other options. If you find your teen is in this situation, you may want to discuss alternative treatments, such as Invisalign, with your dentist or orthodontist.
What Age is Appropriate to Consider Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is usually done in the early teen years, from the ages of 11 to 13. Permanent teeth should have emerged by this time, and teeth and jaws are still growing and easier to move to the desired position. Older teens and adults may also benefit from orthodontic treatment, although the movement of teeth is slower as we age and become adults.
What are ‘Invisible’ Aligners?
Invisalign Teen aligners are not totally invisible but are mostly clear and not as noticeable as traditional metal braces. Invisalign is made from transparent plastic that is custom-molded to fit over the teen’s teeth. A series of aligners will be worn to gradually move your teeth to the desired position. The clear aligners are custom-made with the help of a computer program that takes into account exactly where your teeth are now, and how they will need to be moved. Each tray of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks to shift your teeth slightly, then a new tray is used, which fits slightly different, to make small movements over time.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?
The Invisalign Teen aligners are designed to provide orthodontic treatment to teens who don’t want noticeable braces that are attention-grabbing. The other advantages of choosing this option include:
- Maintaining the health of your teeth and gums is easier. Aligners may be removed unlike traditional braces to brush and floss teeth, making for improved oral hygiene.
- No dietary restrictions are necessary. A clean diet is beneficial for everyone, but it is not necessary to avoid specific foods since food will not get caught in brackets or wires.
- You will not have to worry about injuries. Braces sometimes come loose and rub against your mouth and cause scratches, injuries or ulcers. This will not happen with aligners.
- Compliance indicators clearly show if aligners have been worn properly. The orthodontist will be able to tell if the patient has worn the aligners for the recommended amount of time by looking at the patient’s progress in the movement of teeth.
- Aligners may be replaced easily. Aligners are more easily replaced by an orthodontist if lost or damaged, compared to a damaged brace.
To learn more about Invisalign Teen aligners and other orthodontic treatments we offer, request your appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontist, Dr. Reese, and his highly trained staff.