From an aesthetic standpoint, it’s easy to see why teens prefer alternatives to traditional braces, such as Invisalign. Although traditional braces are one of the most effective ways to move teeth in a relatively short period of time, many older teens are often reluctant with the idea of spending their years in High School with brackets and wires.
Fortunately for today’s teens, there are great alternatives to achieving straighter teeth without orthodontic treatment being the first thing someone sees when you smile.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign resembles the plastic retainers that most teenagers get when they are done with their metal braces treatment and the teeth still need to be set in place. The clear retainers, referred to as aligners, move teeth in a similar way to traditional braces by putting pressure on the teeth. This allows for the aligners to gradually shift the teeth into a more appealing alignment. Every two weeks your teen will replace an aligner set with a new one, slowly shifting the teeth one aligner set at a time.
Is Invisalign Less Painful Than Traditional Braces?
There may be some discomfort as teeth adjust to a new aligner, but patients generally experience less discomfort than with traditional metal braces. Like any orthodontic treatment, the pain and discomfort will subside after the first few days of wearing new aligners until a new aligner needs to be placed. This minor discomfort can often be counteracted with a simple over-the-counter pain reliever.
The Top Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign is truly the most invisible way to straighten your teen’s teeth. This orthodontic method allows patients to straighten their smile without it taking over their self-confidence. The top reasons teens love Invisalign are:
Complete Invisibility. The main complaint teenagers have about mental braces is that they are so visible and prominent in their everyday lives. Although any kind of orthodontic treatment is temporary, most teenagers love the benefit of achieving a straighter smile without everyone around them knowing.
Fewer Food Restrictions. If you’re raising a teenager, you already know that teens love their snacks, and metal braces can put big restrictions on what your child can and can’t eat because of their braces. Invisalign allows teenagers to eat the same foods as their peers without braces because aligners are completely removable.
Easy to Care for. The cleaning process for Invisalign is the same as someone without orthodontic treatment, making patients far less likely to experience cavities or other damage to the teeth after treatment is finished.
Freedom to Be a Typical Teenager. Traditional braces can lead to patients being unable to play certain sports or instruments while undergoing treatment because there is an increased possibility of damage to the braces and the teeth. Invisalign allows patients to remove an aligner during activity or keep them in because there is no pain from the lips pressing against the brackets.
The Disadvantages of Invisalign
As suspected, the only real disadvantage with teens wearing Invisalign as opposed to traditional braces is that they are personally responsible for wearing their aligners as much as they are supposed to be wearing them. Not wearing aligners for the recommended daily duration will result in treatment not being as effective as it should be. This can significantly lengthen the duration of the treatment.
Making the Right Choice Together
Dr. Okamura believes that with proper education and commitment, Invisalign aligners are a great option for responsible teenagers who can commit to a straighter smile. If you’re unsure if Invisalign is right for your child, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Kim Okamura to learn all of the benefits these plastic teeth straighteners have to offer.