Although braces are long considered a normal part of teenage years, The New York Times has made note of the fact that more teens are opting for clear aligners to straighten their teeth. Originally marketed towards adults, Invisalign is now a viable alternative for all age groups. Even with braces less noticeable and more comfortable than ever, many of our younger patients still ask us about Invisalign. Because of a growing interest in Invisalign for teens, this article serves to go over the pros and cons as noted by our offices in Boise, Idaho.
Invisalign Teen: What is It?
Like its adult predecessor, Invisalign Teen consists of a series of clear-plastic aligners that can be easily removed. At Guymon Orthodontics, we first use our high-tech scanner to look at the teeth and gums by creating a 3D model. Afterwards, we can map where each tooth will move based on the model. A series of custom aligners will be made based on our doctors’ determination.
Teens will be required to wear their aligners for approximately 20 to 22 hours each day. After 1-2 weeks, a new set will be given depending on the individual’s plan. During the process, teeth will shift into their new positions gradually over time.
Pros of Invisalign Teen
Transparency– Because of the clear plastic material, most people do not notice when someone is wearing them. Our offices in Boise, Idaho have noted many teen patients saying they feel more confident as they smile during their treatment. This can be beneficial for teens who are lacking self-esteem, as braces make them more conscious of their appearance to others.
Comfort- The smooth plastic is fitted to every patient’s mouth. The aligners themselves are even trimmed to match the gumline and provide the best fit. Since there are no brackets and wires, teens will not have to worry about cuts and irritation. Many patients have said they forget they’re even wearing them.
Cleaning- With Invisalign, there is no moving around brackets and wires. This means that cleaning your teeth is easier with less attention to detail. You can take them out to brush, floss, and more. It is recommended that patients brush after eating so that the aligners are guaranteed to get put back in correctly.
Food- There are no restrictions with food and snacks for teens using Invisalign. Braces are notorious for trapping food, and they are easily damaged by things such as gum and hard candy. It is often recommended that teenagers avoid these foods while wearing braces. Invisalign, however, can be removed before they eat or drink anything except water.
Cons of Invisalign Teen
Commitment- Invisalign’s aligners can only work if your teenager wears them. We recommend that patients keep them in for 20-22 hours per day. Most teenagers can follow these guidelines, as the blue compliance indicators show parents and the doctors if they’re being worn enough. If you do not think you or your teenager will be able to stick to this plan, braces may be a better option for getting the perfect smile.
Tracking- The ability to remove the aligners for eating, brushing, or flossing makes life easier, though tougher to keep track of. Invisalign Teen does offer free replacement aligners, though they are limited in quantity.