The teenage years can be tumultuous, fast-paced, insecure times for kids. In such times of great change, both physically and emotionally, how teens see themselves can reflect on how they act. Even seemingly small aspects of their physical appearance, such as a bout with acne or crooked teeth, can affect their self-esteem and cause them to hide away a bit so they don’t seem so vulnerable.
Correcting those issues can make a world of difference. Having straighter teeth, for example, can boost self-esteem and allow teens to feel more comfortable and confident about themselves.
Has your teenager expressed concern about their teeth and asked about wanting to get braces or Invisalign? This is the first step toward change. But you have to do your research: which option is better for them? Traditional teeth braces or clear aligners? Here at Clear Smiles, we know Invisalign for teenagers is the better choice.
Our Invisalign Board-Certified orthodontists provide some great reasons why:
Your teen is busy, you’re busy. You don’t have time to cart them to the ortho every month for a braces check. With Invisalign for teenagers, they still have to check in with the orthodontist but not nearly as often as they would with traditional braces. Plus, there’s no tightening of wires or discomfort to contend with – basically, the appointments make sure their treatment is progressing as planned. No emergency visits due to wires poking their cheeks!
No One Can Tell
Unlike metal braces, no one can really tell your teen is wearing aligners. With image being so important to teens of all ages, this is a big selling point. No teasing and no body image issues.
Easy to Clean
While clear braces for teenagers must be worn 22 hours a day, they can take them off to eat and brush. This means, after a meal, they can easily brush and floss to remove all leftover food particles. With traditional metal braces, brushing isn’t very effective because food can easily get stuck in and around the brackets and wires.
Bonus: your teen won’t have to watch what they eat because they can simply take their aligners out. With metal braces, there are lots of no-no’s: can’t eat popcorn, hard candy, bagels, nuts, chewy candy, gum, etc.
Your teen may have a lot of questions regarding Invisalign. Here are some of the most common we get:
Q: What if my teeth start shifting because of my wisdom teeth coming in?
A: The timing of wisdom teeth extraction will depend on the patient. In some cases, your orthodontist may advise that you have this procedure before beginning clear braces treatment. In other cases, it may be best to wait on wisdom tooth removal until after treatment is complete. And in still other cases, wisdom teeth removal can be done during treatment.
Your orthodontist will refer you to an oral surgeon for a consultation on wisdom tooth removal at the right point in your treatment.
Q: When can I take them off?
A: You can take out your Invisalign trays whenever you’re eating or drinking anything other than water. It is recommended you wear them for a total of 22 hours a day. That leaves a couple hours for snacking and meals. When done eating or drinking, brush and floss your teeth and pop the aligners back in. Yes, you have to sleep with them in.
We know lots of teens play sports, participate in band, or do other extracurricular activities. In these cases, it is OK to take the aligners out in order to, for example, wear a mouth guard for lacrosse, but just don’t forget to put your aligners back in after the game.
How long is treatment?
Invisalign treatment usually takes between a year and 18 months to complete — slightly less than traditional braces, which is usually an 18-month to two-year or more process. Every two months or so, you will get a new set of aligners to replace the previous set. Invisalign takes a little getting used to in the first few days. You may have some difficulty speaking and some mild discomfort, but you will get over that in the first couple of days. Each time you start off with a new set, you may feel some tightness. This is totally normal. But other than that, there are no side effects or pain.
How do I prevent my teeth from shifting after treatment is complete?
One word: retainers. After your clear braces treatment, you will receive a custom retainer to wear each night. As long as you wear the retainer regularly, there should be no shifting of your teeth.
So, parents: listen to your teens! They want an easier, less invasive way to navigate this uncertain age of braces, first dates, and high school drama.
Is your teen ready to start their Invisalign journey?
If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign, book your free consultation. You heard it from our Clear Smiles orthodontists… Invisalign is convenient, natural-looking, and efficient for any teenagers looking for a positive change. It’s time for our teenagers to sit up straight and face the world!