Admit it: when you think of orthodontic treatment, you probably still picture an unflattering mouthful of metal. Even though modern braces treatment has advanced considerably in recent years, not only cosmetically but in comfort as well, most of us are hard pressed to shake that stereotypical image we grew up with. Teens especially can be mortified by the idea of being a “brace face,” and might even balk at the idea of traditional treatment. What’s a parent to do?
The good news is, there’s an alternative treatment in Invisalign Teen!
Invisalign Teen is a clear aligner system that provides a nearly invisible way to straighten teeth without the restrictions that often come with metal braces. Instead of wires, brackets, and bands, Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners. Teens simply wear the aligners over their teeth, changing them out for a new set every 1-2 weeks as their teeth move into place. Over time, the teeth gradually shift into a new, straighter smile, leaving your teen feeling confident – minus the metal.
What is it that makes Invisalign such a good choice for teens? Let’s take a look!
When your teen wears their aligners the recommended 20-22 hours a day, every day, Invisalign Teen can be every bit as effective as traditional braces for most common teeth-straightening cases. Invisalign can successfully treat mild to moderate cases of underbite, overbite, overcrowding, and gaps between the teeth. Although not every teen is a candidate for Invisalign, most will be.
One of the hardest things for any patient to get used to with traditional braces are the food restrictions. This is especially difficult for teens and young adults, when lots of social activities revolve around food, and the last thing you want to do is stick out like a sore thumb for not being able to participate! Metal braces, with their wires and brackets, mean nothing sticky or chewy, nothing crunchy, and no snacks like popcorn, nuts, or apples. Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed every time your teen eats or drinks, so most patients are able to eat just about anything they normally would.
Dental hygiene is an important part of everyday life, and that’s especially true with any kind of orthodontic treatment. Ideally, we want to see patients brushing and flossing thoroughly at least twice a day, daily. It’s imperative to keep food and bacteria from being trapped against the teeth and gums, but sometimes the wires, brackets, and bands of traditional braces make caring for teeth a little tricky. Teens are advised to remove their Invisalign aligner during their daily brushing routine, so it makes cleaning their teeth much less tedious and a lot more productive!
Food and flossing aren’t the only areas of flexibility with Invisalign Teen. Contact sports can be hit or miss with metal braces, since the brackets and wires can pretty easily break or come loose, causing irritation or pain to the sensitive gums and cheeks. With Invisalign, teens can remove the aligners and wear a regular mouthguard instead, putting the aligner back in after practice or the game. Traditional braces can also get in the way of playing some musical instruments, but Invisalign Teen’s removable aligners allow for music making without the hassle.
It’s easy for us adults to forget how all-encompassing self-esteem issues can be for teenagers, and in fact, research has shown that parents are guilty of underestimating the extent to which their teens can feel self-conscious about crooked teeth. Traditional braces are an effective long-term solution, but in the short-term, they can, unfortunately, have the unintended effect of making insecurities even worse. Because Invisalign Teen aligners are almost invisible, no one even needs to know your teen is straightening their teeth. This takes away a very real source of stress for them, and allows them to focus on the more important and enjoyable things in life.
Fewer, shorter appointments
One thing Invisalign Teen has in common with more traditional braces is follow-up visits to the orthodontist to check progress. However, Invisalign has an advantage here, too. Because there are no broken wires or brackets to fix or tighten, these appointments tend to be shorter and more straightforward, and are generally every 6-8 weeks instead of every 4-6, which is how often most braces patients will be seen.
A concern that often comes up when discussing alternatives to braces is cost. Invisalign Teen has been shown to cost just about as much as traditional braces, and here at Shaw Orthodontics, our fees are the same for both braces and Invisalign. We want you to be able to focus on choosing the best way to get a great smile for your teen, not parsing deceptive pricing or high-pressure sales tactics.
In addition, many dental insurance policies will cover Invisalign Teen orthodontic treatment, and we’re also willing to customize a solution for your financial needs by offering simplified financing and payment plans. We never want a patient to miss out on orthodontic treatment due to funds, and our friendly team will work with you to make sure that doesn’t happen to your or your family!
A healthier smile = a healthier life
A straighter smile is a beautiful thing, but beyond the cosmetic benefits, did you know that there are health benefits as well? A misaligned bite or crowded teeth can lead to a whole host of other health problems, including headaches, jaw pain, tooth grinding, gum disease, and general inflammation. Today’s teens have way too much going on to take time out for preventable problems like these! Invisalign Teen orthodontic treatment with Shaw Orthodontics will give your teen teeth that are aligned and an optimized bite pattern to boot. This not only makes their teeth more attractive, but also keeps them easier to care for, and functioning in the way that they should be.
Invisalign Teen by Shaw Orthodontics
Invisalign Teen does require dedication in conjunction with your child’s orthodontist. It’s most effective when worn 20-22 hours per day, and when the aligners are consistently changed every week.
Many people worry that irresponsibility with this would be an issue, but a clinical study data actually showed that teens wear their aligners for just under 21 hours per day, which is exactly as recommended.
Surprisingly, teens tend to stick to their Invisalign orthodontic plan more responsibly than many adult patients do!
For the sake of parental reassurance, however, each Invisalign Teen aligner has a blue indicator that will fade over time when used as directed. This allows us to keep up with and track each patient’s progress and compliance.
If you’re in the Rockwall or surrounding areas, and want to explore what Invisalign has to offer your teen, get in touch with our team today to set up an Invisalign Teen consultation with us. We pride ourselves on providing sophisticated “smile design” orthodontic treatment to each patient we see, and are dedicated to creating the kind of beautiful results you’ve always dreamed of. With Invisalign Teen, we can have your child on the road to a superior smile in no time!