If you and your teen have been told they need orthodontic treatment, you both likely have many questions. One decision to make is whether Invisalign Teen is right for your child. Our Calgary orthodontists discuss what you should know in this post.
If your teen has been diagnosed with an orthodontic issue, you both are likely wondering what the next couple of years will bring in terms of treatment and lifestyle changes. Invisalign Teen is one treatment option your orthodontist at myORTHODONTIST may recommend looking into. But first, there are some things you should know before deciding whether to go this route.
Invisalign for Teens
If you've never heard of Invisalign Teen, think of them as nearly invisible braces that can be used to straighten teeth and correct mild orthodontic issues. These smooth plastic aligners are transparent, so a casual observer will have a difficult time spotting them on your teen's teeth. Teens sometimes prefer these to the aesthetics of traditional braces as the clear aligners aren't as easy to see as brackets and wires that come with braces.
Rather than the wires and brackets you might remember from your own or your peers' teenage experiences with braces, Invisalign's clear, custom-made aligners are removable. Your teen will need to wear each set in the series over their teeth for about every seven days as their teeth gradually shift into place.
That said, there are some facts to keep in mind about Invisalign Teen and the commitment it will require from your child during treatment. We'll explain more below.
1. Invisalign May Be an Option If Your Teen as a Mild or Moderate Orthodontic Issue
Provided your teen wears their clear aligners according to their orthodontist's recommendations, Invisalign Teen can be effective at treating common mild orthodontic cases of:
- Gap Teeth
- Open Bite
- Crooked Teeth
- Sleep Apnea
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
To find out if clear aligners may be right for your teen, take our Smile Assessment and we will contact you to arrange an Invisalign consultation with one of our orthodontists in Calgary.
Once your teen has been assessed by an orthodontist during his or her orthodontic consultation, we will be able to tell you whether Invisalign is an option for your teen's case, provide details on treatment timelines, and more.
2. Aligners Must Be Worn for 22 Hours Every Day
Invisalign clear aligners are removable, which brings a number of opportunities for your teen - with caveats.
One of the reasons many teenagers tend to favour clear aligners is that they can still eat their favourite foods - think popcorn, corn on the cob, their favourite chewy or sticky snacks that would be a no-go with braces.
In addition to this fact is that most teens naturally live social lives, and may feel awkward about wearing braces to events, dates, class pictures, etc. With clear aligners, as long as they wear them for 22 hours a day, they need not worry about missing out.
However, your teen will need to have the self-discipline required to wear their clear aligners for those 22 hours for their treatment to progress on schedule and be effective.
3. Invisalign Teen are Made Especially for Growing Smiles
While Invisalign also makes a line of clear aligners for adults, it's been noted that teenagers have unique needs when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Invisalign Teen has a few extra features that differentiate it from the treatment option for adults:
Because teenagers' teeth are sometimes still emerging, the Invisalign Teen line features built-in eruption tabs to give adult teeth room to erupt.
You may notice your teen's Invisalign aligners have small blue dots on them. These indicators should help your teen remember how long they should wear a set of aligners before changing them, and will gradually fade away once they've been worn for two weeks.
6 Sets of Replacement Aligners
Teens often lead active lives, between attending school and activities, playing sports and social engagements. Sometimes, aligners may become lost or damaged. That's why your teen will receive 6 sets of replacement aligners to help reduce risk of treatment delays and subsequent dental health issues due to lost or broken aligners.
4. Your Teen Will Need to Check In Regularly With Their Orthodontist
While clear aligners won't need to be adjusted as often as braces will, your teen will still need to check in with their orthodontist on a regular basis to ensure treatment is progressing as intended.
About every 6 weeks, we'll schedule an appointment for your teen to briefly check in with their orthodontist about their progress in treatment, and any questions or concerns they may have.
Orthodontic Treatment for Teens at myORTHODONTIST
Crowding, gaps or misalignment of teeth, or "bad bites" do not typically correct themselves. By having them corrected, your teen can enjoy better long-term oral health and a straighter, more even smile.
If orthodontic issues are impacting your teen's chewing, speech or other aspects of life, the early to mid-teen years can be a great time to start resolving them with orthodontic treatment, which can correct bite functionality and comfort, change aesthetics and shift alignment of teeth.