What You Need To Know About Invisalign For Your Teen
The teenage years come with a lot of changes, both physical and mental.
Most of those changes can’t be altered, and eventually, we grow into them as adults.
It’s all part of growing up.
However, a few things that change are completely unwanted and unnecessary.
As a parent, you are probably thinking about the changes in attitude, but we’re actually talking about the changes in their teeth.
Sometimes, when we lose our baby teeth, our new adult teeth don’t grow in as perfectly as we’d like them to.
Sometimes, they are crooked. Sometimes, they have gaps, but it always leads to teenagers being embarrassed by their smile. Up until very recently, the only options for teenagers was braces. Big, bulky, braces that made most teenagers even more embarrassed to smile.
It was a necessary evil, so they did it. However, it was no suprise that they couldn’t wait to get the braces off, so they could finally smile again.
However, there is a much better, more subtle option for teenagers now: Invisalign.
On this page, Dr. Cohen, your trusted orthodontist in Highland Park, IL, will discuss Invisalign for teenagers or Invisalign Teen, so you know what your options are for your teenager.
What Is Invisalign Teen?
Similar to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teen’s teeth without the restriction and embarrassment of regular metal braces.
Instead of wires and brackets, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners that have been custom-made for your teen’s teeth.
Your teen has to wear them over their teeth for about 20 to 22 hours every day and swaps their current aligner out for a new one every couple of weeks.
Little by little, your teen’s teeth gradually shift into place, giving them the big, confident smile they’ve been waiting for.
Years ago, Invisalign Teen was only capable of fixing simple orthodontic issues.
However, we’ve come a long way since then, and Invisalign Teen can achieve outstanding results for mild, moderate, and complex cases.
Invisalign Teen aligners are designed specifically for teenagers’ mouths and even come with features like eruption tabs to accommodate for erupting molars.
The only way to know for sure if your child is a candidate for Invisalign Teen in Highland Park, IL is to see your trusted local orthodontist.
However, you can rest assured knowing that Invisalign Teen can treat most cases.
How Does Invisalign Teen Work?
So how do these nearly invisible aligners work to straighten your teeth?
As we’ve already mentioned, Invisalign Teen uses clear, removable aligners custom made for your teen’s teeth, instead of the wires, brackets, and bands traditional braces use.
However, Invisalign Teen works almost exactly like traditional braces.
The clear aligners put pressure on your teeth, gradually shifting them out of misalignment and into alignment.
Once the current set of aligners has put all the necessary pressure on your teen’s teeth, your teen gets a new set of aligners that will contiue applying pressure to move their teeth again.
Your teen may experience a little discomfort as their teeth adjust to the aligners, but it is nothing compared to the pain caused by braces.
Pros Of Invisalign Teen
Besides the obvious fact that Invisalign Teen won’t make your teen even more embarrassed to smile because aligners are crafted from a translucent material, they offer many benefits over traditional braces.
A few of them are:
Comfort: Invisalign Teen aligners are made from smooth plastic and customized to fit your teenager’s mouth.
The aligners are trimmed based on the gum line to ensure the perfect fit.
The best thing about Invisalign Teen is that because they don’t have the brackets and wires that traditional braces do, they won’t cause irritation, poking wires, or accidental cuts to the mouth.
Oftentimes, teenagers even forget they are wearing the aligners.
They Can Eat Whatever They Want: Braces trap food, and wires can get damaged by chewy, sticky, or hard things like popcorn, taffy, or even pizza crust.
Those foods have to be avoided until the teenager can have the braces removed.
Because Invisalign Teen aligners are removable, your teenager won’t face any such restrictions.
By simply removing the aligner while they eat, your teenager will be able to eat anything they want throughout the duration of their treatment.
Easier Oral Hygiene: Trying to clean your braces takes much more attention to detail than cleaning your aligners.
In addition to taking their aligners out to eat, your teen will also take them out to brush and floss their teeth.
They will continue to use the same techniques they always have and won’t have to learn a new way to brush and floss their teeth like they would with braces.
Shorter Appointments: Your appointments won’t last as long with Invisalign Teen because they won’t require any adjusting as braces do.
Your teen will simply come in about every six to eight weeks for a quick check-up.
This will save you an enormous amount of time throughout their treatment.
Invisalign Teen Aligners Are Precise: The Invisalign Teen system is based on computerized treatment planning, and the aligners are custom made for your teen’s mouth.
This precision ensures fantastic results for your teen.
The Aligners Won’t Interrupt Daily Life: If your teen plays any sports or instruments, it can take a little while to get used to having braces.
If they ever get hit in the mouth, it can damage their braces and make an emergency visit to their orthodontist necessary.
Invisalign Teen aligners won’t accidentally cut their mouth, and your teen can take them out to play their instrument.
Because Invisalign Teen requires minimal lifestyle changes, it can be a smoother transition for both you and your teenager.
Cons Of Invisalign Teen
Nothing in this life is perfect, so even though the benefits of Invisalign Teen are numerous, there are also some cons.
Some of them are:
Your Teen Has To Follow The Rules: For some teens, this will be a non-issue. For others, though, it could cause some problems.
The aligners can only move your teenager’s teeth into place if they wear them. For best results, they should wear them for about twenty hours every day – basically all day long.
For most teenagers eager to fix their smile, it’s not a huge deal, and they are more than willing to wear their aligners as prescribed.
The aligners will come with blue compliance indicators to show parents and the orthodontist whether or not the teen is wearing them as much as they should.
As a parent, you know your teen best. If you think sticking to the plan will be a problem, braces might be the better option.
But for most teens, wearing a retainer almost all day is much better than braces.
The Aligners Can Get Lost: The convenience of removing the aligners means there’s also a chance your teen could lose them.
Lost aligners can set back treatment times, and replacing them can get expensive.
Luckily, Invisalign Teen has free replacement aligners built into the system.
Again, you know your teen best, and if you don’t think they will be able to keep track of their aligners, braces might be a good alternative.
Luckily all Teen Invisalign aligners will come with a case making it easy to store them when they aren’t using them.
Give Your Teen The Smile They’re Gonna Love
Like we mentioned above, the only way to know for sure if your teenager is an ideal candidate for Invisalign Teen is to visit your local orthodontist.
Parents talking to teenage kids about Invisalign
Dr. Jessica Cohen Orthodontics in Highland Park, IL specializes in Teen Invisalign, and they would love to see if your teenager is an ideal candidate.
To find out, schedule a free exam by clicking the link below, or give us a call at (224) 268-8726.