There’s no getting around it. Our teen years can be our most awkward and self-conscious, and wearing metal braces can compound that. In fact, research shows that 40 percent of teens say wearing metal braces would have or has had a negative impact on their self-confidence.
But there’s a new option for teens who need braces: Invisalign Teen. It is a virtually invisible way to straighten your teen’s teeth without the restrictions that come with metal braces.
Instead of wires and brackets, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners that have been custom made. About every two weeks, your teen changes to a new set of aligners but only visits the orthodontist every few months. Unlike metal, clear aligners don’t attract negative attention, which helps with your teen’s self-esteem and outlook.
In a Hall & Partners Quant Survey conducted in April 2008, researchers found out that moms underestimate the extent to which teens feel self-conscious about crooked teeth. Clear plastic aligners are practically invisible, removing a potential source of real anxiety for them and enhancing their confidence.
While aesthetics are a key benefit of Invisalign Teen, this orthodontic technique also has practical advantages. Invisalign aligners are removable, so your teen can play sports without having to worry about being hit in the mouth while wearing braces, which can be a concern in active teens.
Invisalign does not restrict the foods a person can eat such as hard and crunchy foods (think popcorn or apples) or sticky, chewy foods (think gum or caramel) because the aligners are removable. This also makes it easier to keep up with dental hygiene because the removable aligners make it easy to brush and floss.
Patients say Invisalign is more comfortable than braces. In addition, this orthodontic method can be just as effective as traditional braces when planned and delivered by an experienced orthodontist and worn faithfully as instructed. Invisalign can effectively treat mild to severe cases, including overbite, underbite, gaps between teeth, crossbites and overcrowding. The average treatment time is similar to other orthodontic techniques but each case is different. Your teen’s treatment time will depend on the severity of his or her condition and can only be determined after visiting an experienced Invisalign provider.
Invisalign Teen is most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours each day. Studies suggest that teens wear their aligners on average approximately 21 hours per day, which is exactly as recommended. In addition, Invisalign Teen has a built-in assurance check. Each aligner has blue compliance indicators that fade over time when used as directed, so the orthodontist and parent can track compliance. And if your teen accidentally loses an aligner, Invisalign Teen offers six replacement aligners for free.
Invisalign costs are comparable to other esthetic orthodontic treatments. With the sharing of selfies, yearbook photos and prom pics, Invisalign Teen may be just the right treatment for your teen. Consider Invisalign Teen for straight teeth and a confident smile.
Dr. William V. Gierie received his dental degree and orthodontic specialty training from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is an associate adjunct faculty member and Invisalign instructor in the orthodontic department. Dr. Gierie is in the top 1% of all Invisalign doctors in North America and lectures extensively on Invisalign. He maintains a private orthodontic practice in Wilmington, N.C., at 700 Military Cutoff Road, Suite 100. For more information, visit gobraces.net or call (910) 256-8590.