Braces are a rite of passage for children who don’t mind the idea of wearing them, and especially if it gives them a beautifully straight smile at the end. However, others won’t be quite so enthusiastic, particularly if they already feel quite self-conscious about the way they look or are lacking in self-confidence or self-esteem. These days, there are other options for wearing braces made from traditional metal brackets and wires, and Invisalign is just one possibility. Invisalign® aligners are made from clear, thin BPA-free plastic, and when being worn are very difficult to see.
That said, Invisalign® is among the best teeth straightening solutions but isn’t often suitable for younger children, and especially where compliance may be an issue. Invisalign® aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours each day to work correctly, and younger children may not be responsible enough to ensure this happens, delaying the end of treatment or even wrecking a carefully planned treatment plan.
It’s also important to think about the orthodontic problems requiring correction. While Invisalign® is excellent for many orthodontic situations, it might not be ideal for more complex problems that would benefit from fixed braces. Although fixed braces may seem the less desirable option, they can provide excellent and proven results, especially for trickier issues affecting a child’s bite.
If you have a child in their teens and whose orthodontic problems are quite straightforward, then they may be able to have Invisalign®. The company produces a unique system especially for teenagers and which is called Invisalign® Teen.
If you are familiar with traditional Invisalign® aligners, then Invisalign® Teen is very similar. It uses the same clear plastic aligners that fit tightly over teeth and which are custom-designed to move teeth into the correct positions. Just like standard Invisalign® treatment, the aligners are easily removable for regular brushing and flossing, and each set is worn for approximately two weeks. Once the two weeks is up, the set of aligners is discarded for the next set in the series and treatment continues until teeth are straight. Listed below are some of the benefits of choosing Invisalign® Teen.
One of the primary reasons why Invisalign® is so popular is its ease of use, and Invisalign® Teen is the same. With this system, your teenager can remove their aligners whenever they want to brush and floss their teeth.
When a child wears fixed braces, then they often must dedicate more time to brushing and flossing their teeth thoroughly, frequently using special tools designed for the job. Every bracket and wire must be thoroughly cleaned because otherwise there is the risk of the child developing tooth decay and gum disease. There is no such problem with Invisalign® Teen because teeth can be brushed and flossed normally, so it’s simple to maintain excellent oral health right throughout treatment.
Another advantage of Invisalign® Teen is that the aligners are removable if your child plays a musical instrument or if they like to play sports. Additionally, removing the aligners during meals means your kid can stick to a normal diet, so there is no need for them to avoid very crunchy, hard or sticky foods. Instead, they can enjoy the foods they usually like to eat without fear of damaging fixed braces.
Fewer Visits Are Required
With Invisalign®, fewer visits are required to the orthodontist which helps to save time. When your child does need to see the orthodontist, then these visits should be quite quick because there is no need to make any adjustments to brackets or wires. Additionally, with Invisalign®, there is no risk of breakages to any brackets or wires, and because Invisalign® aligners are smooth, there are no parts that can dig into cheeks or lips.
Invisalign® Teen Tracks Its Use
One of the differences between Invisalign® Teen and the standard Invisalign® system is that it tracks its usage. Invisalign® Teen has blue colored wear indicators towards the back of the aligners and which fade as the aligners are worn for the correct amount of time each day. It’s a system that makes it very easy to ensure a child has good compliance and which can be checked by parents and by the orthodontist.
Free Replacement Aligners Are Included
Invisalign® Teen recognizes that teenagers sometimes mislay things! The system includes six free replacements, just in case! However, if your teen continually loses aligners, then it will cost you money.
Invisalign® Retainers Are Just as Discreet
Once your teen’s treatment is complete, then they must wear retainers as directed by their orthodontist. Initially, retainers need to be worn most or all the time, just like the aligners because at this point their teeth are still settling down into their new positions. Failing to wear their aligners would allow the teeth to drift out of place, meaning all that hard work would have been for nothing. Invisalign® retainers look just like the aligners, so they are easy to wear and virtually invisible once in the mouth.
What Happens If Invisalign® Isn’t the Solution?
Unfortunately, Invisalign® won’t be the correct solution for every child, and it is best to be guided by the experience of your orthodontist who will recommend the system they feel will provide the best treatment outcome. However, even if Invisalign® isn’t suitable, there may be another option that is equally discreet. These days, even fixed braces can be made so that they are much less visible than traditional metal braces with heavy brackets and wires.
It is possible to have fixed braces where the brackets are made from a transparent material, and the wires connected to them can be very thin or even tooth colored. Another option is a lingual brace, which is fitted to the inner surfaces of the teeth so it cannot be seen very easily, but this is only suitable in certain situations.
If your child does have fixed braces, then they will need to adjust their diet during treatment, and they must pay extra attention to their oral health, which will require additional time to clean around the brackets and wires. However, even if this is the case, then it’s worth remembering that it’s only a short period in their lifetime and at the end, the result should be a healthier and more attractive smile.