Between multiple social media accounts, extended screen time due to a pandemic, and selfies practically a rite of passage, there’s no getting around the fact that teens today have more visibility than us adults could have ever imagined at their age. For those who feel self-conscious about their smile, that kind of constant sharing can be a little overwhelming. Here at Decatur Orthodontics, we want all of our patients to embrace their own unique beauty, but we also know what a difference it can make to have a confident, healthy smile you can feel proud of!
Invisalign clear aligners are one of the ways we can help the teen in your life achieve that kind of smile. This innovative system straightens teeth using a series of clear aligners, with no brackets or wires necessary. Because the aligners are removable, they offer teens an extra measure of freedom that traditional braces just can’t match. Keep reading below to learn more about why this exciting treatment option can be such an excellent choice for teens!
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign system gives our teen patients a nearly invisible way to straighten their teeth without any of the restrictions that can accompany traditional braces. As we mentioned above, Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move the teeth instead of relying on brackets and wires. These aligners are made from a special polyurethane plastic material and customized to fit comfortably over the patient’s teeth. As the teeth begin to shift, each aligner will be switched out for the next in the series in order to keep up with that movement. This usually occurs every 1-2 weeks, but will depend on the patient’s specific treatment plan.
Invisalign does rely on patient compliance to be successful. The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process to achieve the smile teens are looking for. Failure to do so can lead to longer treatment times and subpar results. Fortunately, the aligners can be removed for short periods of time! In fact, they’re designed to be taken out when eating, drinking anything other than water, and while brushing and flossing the teeth. Combined with the comfortable material and fit, that makes it easy for teens to stick to the guidelines that’ve been given!
In the past several years, two features have been added to Invisalign aligners to them more appealing to teen patients. Special “eruption tabs” hold the appropriate amount of space open for molars that have not fully grown in, and aligners now come with a built-in “compliance indicators.” These indicators fade with wear, which allows parents and orthodontists to ensure the aligners are being worn as directed for the best results.
What are the benefits of Invisalign treatment?
Besides the obvious benefit of improving the cosmetic appearance of a patient’s smile, Invisalign can resolve many of the issues associated with a bad bite or misaligned jaws. Both can lead to a whole host of symptoms, including headaches, pain in the face or jaw, and general inflammation among others. Invisalign will give teens a beautifully aligned teeth along with an optimized bite pattern for a smile that looks great and feels amazing!
Wondering what else makes Invisalign such a great choice for teens? Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits the system offers!
Works as well as traditional braces
The Invisalign system works well for a range of orthodontic issues, and is often at its most effective when treating mild to moderate cases of underbite, overbite, overcrowding, and gapped teeth. When teens are compliant in wearing their aligners the recommended 20-22 hours a day, Invisalign can be just as successful as traditional braces.
Offers teens extra flexibility and freedom
Traditional braces do take some getting used to, and one of the steepest learning curves can be the food restrictions. Patients in braces need to avoid eating anything hard or chewy to protect their appliance, which can put a real damper on school and social activities! Because Invisalign aligners are removable and designed to be taken out at mealtimes, teens are able to eat just about anything they normally would as long as they maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Even with a removable appliance like Invisalign aligners, patients should be vigilant about brushing and flossing after eating to prevent bacteria from being trapped against the teeth.
Improves teens self-confidence
The further you get into adulthood, the easier it is to forget the pressures of being a teenager. We underestimate how self-conscious a teen may be about crooked teeth or other dental issues affecting their smile. While traditional braces are an excellent long-term solution for those issues, they have the potential for teens who are already feeling self-conscious about their appearance. Since Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, they remove what can be a very real source of stress for teen patient: the idea that braces will make them stand out even more until treatment is complete.
Invisalign is the clear winner for teens at Decatur Orthodontics
Not every teen is a good candidate for Invisalign, though many will be. The system is designed for patients who have lost all their baby teeth and whose second molars are at least partially erupted. If you have a teen who could benefit from a better smile, get in touch with us today to learn more about Invisalign! We offer FREE consultations to all potential patients, and would love to meet you both and take a look at how we can help their smile shine with Invisalign clear aligners.