Clear retainers are popular among adults because they are discreet, flexible, and effective. The same benefits of Invisalign are available for teens, too, but there are a few key differences because the system has been designed specifically with teens in mind. Here at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL, we know how great this can be for teens who want to improve their smiles. Metal braces are tough for teens, who care deeply about the way their peers perceive them, and that’s what makes clear aligners such a great possibility for teen braces.
Teen Braces: Can You Get Clear Aligners for Teens?
Invisalign Teen is made specifically for teenagers. This virtually invisible treatment straightens teeth to give teens a brighter and more confident smile. The Invisalign system does not draw attention to the mouth because it does not use bands, brackets, or wires like traditional braces. This is why many teenagers love it.
How does this all work? Pressure is applied to the teeth with a series of removable trays. As with metal braces, this gradually aligns misaligned teeth. However, the trays do not affix to the teeth; instead, teens exchange them every two weeks to ensure that their teeth are gradually straightened in a way that is more gentle and comfortable than metal braces.
The Difference Between Invisalign and Invisalign Teen
Adolescent aligners are designed to overcome certain obstacles:
Keeping the Trays On
The main challenge is this: teenagers more often forget to put their trays back in after eating and drinking. In the event the tray is not worn as intended, its effectiveness may decrease and the treatment may take longer.
The blue indicator dots on Invisalign for Teens solve this problem by monitoring how many hours your teen wears the aligners every day. Each tray has a dot on the back that fades after a certain amount of time. Thus, as a parent, you know when they’re used consistently – and when they’re not. By addressing the issue as soon as it arises, we are able to prevent the concern from becoming a larger issue and negatively affecting long-term success.
Before eating or drinking, Invisalign trays must be removed. Teenagers also remove them to participate in sports. Misplacing trays is possible at all of these times. Invisalign recognizes this and offers up to six aligners at no additional cost with its teen-focused program.
Space for Teen Teeth
Teenagers with Invisalign often still have growing teeth during treatment. Braces that are attached to teeth and remain affixed until treatment is completed are complicated by this. But Invisalign Teen is designed to adjust as new molars appear. This way, new teeth can be guided into place to prevent further alignment problems.
There are also “power ridges” on the Invisalign trays, which can move the roots of growing teeth gently if necessary. It is essential that new teeth develop in the right position, and Invisalign is designed to support this process effectively.
How Long Do You Have to Wear the Trays?
Our most commonly asked question is “How long does my child have to wear their Invisalign trays every day?” For treatment to be most effective, your child should wear them between 20 and 22 hours a day. During those two to four “off” hours, they can eat, drink, play sports, and clean their aligners.
Are There Any Issues I Have to Watch Out for?
Teenage Invisalign simplifies tooth alignment. Our only concern is when trays aren’t worn for long enough each day. In the beginning, when the adjustment period is beginning, it is common for this to occur. The indicator with the blue dot, however, helps to remind you and your teen to keep an eye on this issue.
Additionally, your teen will undergo regular office checkups to monitor their progress. It will be apparent whether he or she is progressing as expected, and some delay in progress could mean your teen isn’t wearing the trays long enough. We can then have a chat with your teen and help them understand how much more quick and effective things will be if they faithfully wear their trays.
Are There Any Dietary Restrictions With These Teen Braces?
All hard, chewy, and sugary foods are prohibited by metal braces because they can break or become trapped inside the metal components. Teens who disregard these restrictions can damage their appliances by dislodging spacers or breaking wires, which will then need to be repaired or replaced.
Teenagers are not restricted by Invisalign since they remove their trays before every meal or snack. They are therefore free to eat what they want.
Some Good News to Know
Teen Adherence Stats
Teenagers are generally better than adults at wearing their aligners. Teen patients are more likely to follow through with Invisalign because they are more receptive to instructions. In addition, teens are eager for healthy smiles to ensure they look good.
Another factor is also at play here. Because Invisalign is more discreet than metal braces, teens prefer the treatment over metal braces. The majority of teens who wear traditional braces feel self-conscious because the metal components are visible with every laugh, smile, and word they utter. This is always a good motivation for teens to wear their trays!
Our teens already have enough worries, so we don’t want to add to them. Compared with teens who wear traditional braces, teens who wear Invisalign are 68% less likely to be teased. Aligners are widely talked about on social media, and high-profile celebrities have testified to their success with this system.
Plastic trays can be just as effective as metal braces, and many of the concerns that metal braces address can actually be treated with Invisalign. These tools likewise work at the same rate, so the only difference is in how they make your teen feel.
A good candidate for this treatment is a teen with an open bite or crossbite, overbite or underbite, or overcrowded or gapped teeth.
During the evaluation, we’ll make sure Invisalign is the right option for your child. As part of the treatment process, we will also explain what to expect as well as the exact results we can provide. We’ll also be happy to answer all your questions!
Benefits of Plastic Aligners
Less Risk of Injury
Several components of metal braces can irritate soft tissues in the mouth. The Invisalign system, on the other hand, uses smooth plastic and is custom-fitted to fit the mouth of your teen. To ensure a perfect fit, the aligners are trimmed to match the gum line. Furthermore, the trays are wire-free, so your child won’t get a cut. The majority of patients forget they’re even wearing these trays after the initial adjustment period.
The removable trays also make oral hygiene easier. The maneuvering of a brush around brackets and wires takes more time and attention, and it’s not uncommon for teens to slack off in this area. The Invisalign aligners, however, allow for normal brushing and flossing.
Easier Adjustment Period
Since Invisalign does not require adjusting your teen’s diet or brushing habits, you may find it easier to transition to these than metal braces. Invisalign is also a great option for wind instrument players because the trays can be removed during practice and performances; metal braces can break easily in these situations.
Shorter and Fewer Appointments
Teens can enjoy fewer trips to our office with Invisalign for teens since it does not require periodic adjustments like metal braces. Regular checkups are required, but they happen less often than with metal teen braces and are usually very quick. Our goal is to ensure that your child is doing well with treatment and that the teeth are moving effectively.
Additionally, plastic trays let you avoid the emergency appointments that metal braces sometimes necessitate. Trays don’t need repairing and there are no wires to pop loose. Therefore, you will only need to visit our clinic on scheduled days, unless one of you requests an appointment.
Invisalign offers precision and beautiful results that metal braces can’t match. Each aligner is customized according to your teen’s mouth and teeth measurements, and it’s based on computerized treatment planning. The combination of our staff’s expertise and the precision of the computerized system ensures that the results are just right.
Clear aligner teen braces are effective, discreet, and convenient. Even better, with the expertise we offer, the whole process is far easier than teen braces were just a few decades ago. If you’re ready to see what’s right for your teen, visit us at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL to talk about all your options.