Revolutionary Orthodontic Treatment
There’s a reason the clear aligner market has been booming — it’s so much easier and better-looking to straighten your teeth without metal brackets. Being a teenager can be hard enough with all of the bodily changes and peer pressure, so invisible braces can be a blessing.
The Advantages of Clear Braces
- Aesthetically pleasing: Arguably the most appealing aspect of clear aligners is that they’re nearly invisible. Though braces are common in middle and high school, being able to take pictures without visible braces is an advantage.
- Can be removed for eating and cleaning: Clear aligners are also popular because you don’t need to limit the foods you eat. For teens, this is especially appealing because avoiding certain foods can be difficult at school and with friends.
- Faster than traditional braces: Though adhering to Invisalign treatment can be difficult, the flipside is that clear aligners often take about half the time of traditional braces.
Tailored for Teenagers
Invisalign® created a special line of their invisible aligners specifically for teenagers — called Invisalign® Teen. Dr. Jeffery Platt in Colorado Springs, CO is one such dentist who offers this option due to a demand for aesthetically pleasing braces options among teens.
This specialized option is designed with a growing teen in mind. While adult Invisalign users can only move their teeth so much, a teenager’s mouth is still subject to much change. Precision wings can even fix the entire alignment of their jaw.
Blue Dot Compliance Indicators
Teenager-specific aligners also factor in a teen’s reliability when it comes to wearing the aligners. Invisalign aligners must be worn for the recommended 20 to 22 hours per day in order to keep the treatment plan on track. If that goal isn’t met, issues could arise.
Invisalign providers like Dr. Mary Sue Stonisch know that adults sometimes have trouble adhering to the treatment, so it can be even more difficult as a teen. That’s why Invisalign Teen features blue dot compliance indicators.
These indicators are blue dots made of a food dye that fades as the aligner is worn. If you’re curious how much your teen is wearing their aligners, all you have to is look for the blue dot. If the dot is still dark blue after some time, it could mean the aligner hasn’t been worn.
Common Issues With Invisalign Wear
If your child hasn’t been wearing their aligners, it’s important to address the problem to get treatment back on track. Invisalign can be difficult to adjust to, but most hangups are easily addressed with time.
Some common issues and their solutions, recommended by Invisalign providers like Dr. David Blaustein include:
Discomfort: The point of orthodontics is to move teeth into a new position — it’s normal for this can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. But if your teen’s aligners are so uncomfortable they can’t be worn, they may need to be looked at by a professional.
Forgetfulness: Aligners can be removed, but they must be put back in. If your teen is having trouble remembering to put the aligners back in, try establishing a routine that includes checking for aligners. Sticking to a routine throughout the day often helps people remember to put their aligners in.
You can also try using a system of reminders through a phone’s alarm system to periodically serve as a reminder to wear the aligners.
Eating: Though clear aligners can be taken out for eating and drinking, aligners need to be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. That means the amount of time for eating is sparse, so if your child is used to snacking, they’ll have to limit it.
Your teen can eat any food as long as they remove their aligners to eat, but they can’t eat as often. We recommend creating a schedule for eating, so they know when they can remove their aligners.
Cleaning: Clear aligners also must be kept clean in order to remain invisible. If your teen doesn’t clean their teeth after wearing aligners, they could become stained. Try to incorporate this into their routine and establish a reminder system so they don’t forget.
Consider Your Teen’s Options
While Invisalign is often a fantastic option for teenagers, sometimes you have to be realistic about treatment. If your child isn’t able to adhere to the treatment they need, you may have to consider switching to traditional metal braces because they can’t be removed.