The clear aligners known as Invisalign have often been touted as more comfortable, less obstructive alternatives to braces. For eligible patients, they can be useful treatment options, provided they understand that Invisalign is often more expensive than conventional braces. This includes teenage patients who desire a subtler appearance and more comfortable experience from their orthodontic treatment.
While Invisalign can provide freedom for teen patients nervous about conventional braces, they are not always the best fit. Continue reading to learn about Invisalign for teens and what both teens and their parents should consider before opting for this popular treatment option.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign treatment involves a series of clear plastic aligners similar to the ones that orthodontists prescribe after your braces come off. However, these are fitted not to retain alignment but change it, with each successive mold made for the adjustments required on your individual treatment schedule.
Each aligner, when worn properly, will need to be replaced every two weeks. However, they come in a set that can be switched out at home. Provided you wear them as directed for most of the day and even at night, your Invisalign treatment will go according to your orthodontist’s schedule and make changes to your smile similar to braces.
Invisalign for Teens vs Adults
While the basic mechanics of Invisalign treatments are the same between adults and teens, unique challenges presented by teenage patients can be addressed by your orthodontist to promote successful treatment.
For instance, teens tend not to be as diligent about wearing their retainer for the prescribed amount of time, often removing it in secret or during the night. This can not only delay but alter their treatment since the teeth will not move according to the orthodontist’s plan. They may even simply forget to put them back in after eating at school or playing sports, both of which are valid times to take them out.
Solutions for Invisalign for Teens
None of these problems are unsolvable by diligent parents. To determine how long an Invisalign appliance has been worn, orthodontists can put a blue indicator inside the aligner that keeps track of the time per day. Additionally, extra aligners can be ordered if a parent suspects that their teen will lose track of them or damage them during sports.
The most important thing to remember is that Invisalign is a patient-directed treatment. It is the patient’s responsibility to maintain the treatment on the doctor’s schedule. Failing to do so can cost time and money as the treatment is prolonged to make up for it.
Tips for Invisalign for Teens
To make the treatment process smoother, here are some tips on how to determine whether Invisalign is the right option for your teen:
- First, decide whether the cost is worth it. Invisalign costs around $5,000 on average, which depending on your insurance’s specific coverage guidelines, may be significantly more than conventional braces.
- Consider that as a patient-directed treatment, only responsible teens dedicated to fixing their smiles are good fits for Invisalign. The freedom they offer comes with the responsibility of keeping up with the treatment schedule and keeping track of the appliance.
- Take into account their everyday oral health, such as whether they are naturally predisposed toward getting cavities or gum irritation. Invisalign is more comfortable than braces and can be removed for optimal brushing and flossing, which means that less work is required to maintain daily cleaning than with braces.
- Food restrictions should also be a factor. Since they can remove Invisalign aligners to eat, you don’t have to worry about your teen damaging the appliance by eating the wrong foods.
- While Invisalign and braces treat similar issues of alignment, Invisalign may not be strong enough to correct severe issues. Conventional braces or other appliances may be required.
Gauging your teen’s devotion to their treatment is essential to deciding whether Invisalign is the right choice for them. The treatment process for both Invisalign and braces requires effort on your part as well as theirs, but the crucial difference is that Invisalign is completely patient-guided in its treatment schedule. This means that their habits will change how effective and even how expensive it is.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces for your teen, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.