Braces and teenagers have gone hand in hand for years. A lot of our friends and us had them growing up. Sometimes they were so commonplace that they were not something that anyone was teased about. The same might not be said for others. The discomfort and annoyances that went along with having metal brackets cemented to your teeth were compounded by the possibility of being teased. 805 Orthodontics has an alternative to help you out. Say hello to Invisalign Teen: Custom made, removable plastic aligners that do the same work as traditional metal braces but are clear and practically invisible while in the mouth. They are easier to wear, less noticeable, and more comfortable than metal braces because they have no wires, brackets, or bands. But are they right for your teen? Here are a few facts to help you decide whether Invisalign is right for your teen.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign looks just like the plastic retainers that teenagers get when they are done with their metal braces treatment. Wondering how these plastic trays can actually move your teen’s teeth? They do it in a very similar way to how braces move your teeth. The aligners put pressure on the teeth, gradually shifting them out of misalignment and into alignment. Every two weeks, your teen will trade out the old aligner for a new one, and the teeth will continue to move. There may be some discomfort as the teeth adjust to the new aligner, but there is generally less discomfort than with metal braces.
Invisalign is Just as Affordable as Traditional Braces
A common misconception about Invisalign is that it is going to be more expensive than other treatments, which leads many parents to decide on metal braces instead of Invisalign. Braces and Invisalign treatments cost about the same amount these days when covered by insurance. The simplest answer to this is for you and your teen to come in for a consultation at 805 Orthodontics.
Easy to Replace
It is possible that your teen might take out his aligners to eat lunch at school, put them on a napkin, and accidentally throw them away. They might leave them at a friend’s house, or they might, as things do, just disappear. What is going to happen if they misplace a set of aligners? In general, you can simply get a replacement by contacting us and letting us know that the aligners have gone missing. Depending on how close your teen was to swapping out those aligners for the next set, we might just move on to the next set and not worry about a replacement.
In order for treatment to be as effective as possible, your teen needs to wear their aligners for a minimum of twenty-two hours every day. That gives them plenty of time to take them out for eating and cleaning. At all other times, as often as possible, they should be wearing them. Like most things in life, Invisalign only works when you use it. If your teen is not wearing their liners, then their teeth are not being helped. Sometimes, your teen might have extracurricular activities that require them to remove those aligners, like band or sports, but Invisalign aligners are designed to be discreet enough that they can be worn at all other times without disrupting your teen’s life.
With metal braces, there are lots of diet restrictions and it can be very difficult to determine whether or not your teen is actually following those restrictions. With Invisalign for teens, however, there are no dietary restrictions. Because your teen can remove the aligners completely from their mouth when it is time to eat, they can eat whatever they like, whenever they would like.
Adjusting to Invisalign
The biggest roadblock we at 805 Orthodontics see with Invisalign for teen patients is that they simply do not wear their aligners enough. Especially in the beginning, there is an adjustment period, during which your teen might notice increased saliva production as the mouth adjusts to something new in its environment, or speaks with a little bit of a lisp. These things can discourage a teen from wearing their aligners, even if they know that if they keep wearing their aligners these issues will go away. It is really up to the parent and the teen to make sure that the aligners are being worn.
If your teen is progressing at the right rate, it will be obvious that they have been diligent about wearing those aligners as much as possible.We will be able to tell, when your teen comes in for checkups, whether or not they have in fact been wearing their aligners. If they are lagging behind a little bit, this could be an indication that they have not been wearing them as often as they should have been. If they are far behind on their treatment, we can attribute this to not wearing their aligners as prescribed.
If you are in Oxnard, Santa Paula, or the surrounding areas, and are ready to explore what Invisalign may have to offer your teen, set up a free Invisalign Teen consultation with us today. 805 Orthodontics will be happy to help you discover if Invisalign Teen is right for you!