In the past, getting braces was a rite-of-passage for teens. The straightening of teeth marked a difficult transition point between gawky pre-pubescent youthfulness and young adulthood. Traditional braces, in fact, often contributed to the difficulties associated with this time period in life, but today, there are other options available to young people who want all the benefits of straight teeth without all the tribulations associated with metal braces.
Around the time a child reached puberty, dental braces were often placed in the mouth to improve the function of the teeth as well as the appearance. But one of the biggest issues with braces was that before a child with crooked teeth could cash in on all on the benefits of having a great smile, he or she had to endure the awkwardness of having a mouth full of metal sometimes for several years. Today, at Green Tree Dental, many teens forego the metal in favor of something much more discreet, but still life-changing: Invisalign removable aligners1 allow teenagers to straighten teeth discreetly without all the metal brackets and wires.
Invisalign is a special removable type of aligner that can be used by either teens or adults to straighten teeth invisibly. The retainers can easily be taken out of the mouth during eating and put back in place immediately afterward which means that teens can continue eating the foods they enjoy most. These aligners also allow teens to continue doing activities that help them build character and confidence. In short, Invisalign is a teeth straightening option that by-passes all the difficulties associated with traditional braces. Dr. Stahle adds that Invisalign is practically invisible allowing teens to feel more comfortable while going through orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign treatment is particularly well-suited to teens who have aesthetic but not functional dental issues. In other words, if your teen needs teeth straightening because the teeth look crowded or crooked, Invisalign could be a good choice for them as long as there are no bite issues or other major dental problems that would affect how their teeth work.
Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign for Teens
Both dental braces and Invisalign can be used to straighten the teeth. In some cases, Invisalign can be used to correct minor bite issues but usually traditional braces are a more powerful tool for accomplishing complex dental goals. Both alignment options are valid for teens who want an attractive smile, but the only way to really find out which one is right for your teen is to schedule an evaluation with a dentist.
Invisalign can be used to move teeth as long as they don’t need complex maneuvering. If the teenager has teeth that have to be moved a significant distance in the mouth to fill in gaps, traditional braces may be more appropriate. If the teeth must be turned or if crowding is a major issue in the mouth, Invisalign may not be the best option. Invisalign is most appropriate for teens who have simple alignment issues so it’s important to get an expert dental evaluation from us at Green Tree Dental to find out whether dental braces or Invisalign is the right option.
As a general rule, Invisalign patients wear their aligners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and return to their dentist about once every 2 weeks for a new aligners (however the length of time between dental visits varies from case to case). One of the most obvious benefits of Invisalign for teens is the fact that no one can see that the patient is wearing braces but other benefits include the fact that aligner trays can be removed and then put back in place easily. This means that the brushing and flossing protocol remains the same and dental hygiene won’t suffer during the time period when the teeth are being aligned.
While Invisalign is one of the easiest teeth alignment options for teens, traditional braces still have their place in modern dentistry. Dental braces are used to solve more complex alignment issues and though this method of teeth straightening is not removable from the mouth and treatment is a much more obvious affair, dental braces have come a long way for teens with alignment issues that require a more traditional approach. For example, today, there are clear plastic brackets available to make teens less self-conscious about their smile. And for hard-to-solve dental issues related to alignment of the teeth, braces can accomplish amazing things.
At Green Tree Dental, we understand that for teens, Invisalign can contribute to a higher self-esteem during treatment. And we also know that traditional braces can create limitations for young people in terms of athletics and other activities. Invisalign trays don’t affect the patient’s speech which is important during the formative years of adolescence. It stands to reason that many parents and teens prefer to use Invisalign for treatment if at all possible to solve alignment issues in the mouth.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign is particularly well-suited for teens who are athletic because the mouth trays don’t contribute to the risk of injury. Young people who use the Invisalign trays can also benefit from being able to give speeches or go on job interviews without having to worry about the appearance of traditional braces. This can make a big difference in a teenager’s life and it’s one of the reasons why many parents prefer this method of aligning teeth.
Invisalign is equipped with a compliance indicator that clearly shows whether or not the teen is wearing the aligner tray for the proper period of time each day so parents can easily monitor the use of the trays. Invisalign is most appropriate for responsible teens who are motivated to wear the alignment trays because they want straighter teeth. Ideally, parents should be able to check-in with their teen regularly to make sure the compliance indicator shows proper use of the aligner trays as well.
Invisalign is particularly well-suited to teenagers who have relatively simple alignment issues, but every situation is unique. As a result, the only way to really find out whether or not your teen would make a good candidate for this type of treatment is to schedule an evaluation. Make an appointment2 with us today at Green Tree Dental to find out whether your teen is a good candidate for this procedure.