Orthodontic treatment is common among teenagers. Roughly half of all teens in the United States require orthodontic work to correct crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. However, 92% of US teens think that wearing metal braces would impact their ability to fit in, with 1 in 4 saying they believe wearing braces results in being teased.
Luckily, orthodontic treatments are constantly evolving, and teens today have more discreet options for correcting malocclusion, such as Invisalign clear aligners.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment that uses clear, plastic aligners to straighten teeth.
The aligners are created by taking impressions of your teeth and forming a series of molds. Then, the molds are formed using computer-generated images into the patented Invisalign mouthpieces.
The Benefits of Invisalign for Your Teenager
Invisalign is an excellent orthodontic option for your teen if they have mild to moderate malocclusions. Some of the benefits you can expect:
Invisalign trays must be worn for at least 22 hours per day. However, your teen can remove them when they eat and brush their teeth. This means they don’t need to modify their diet or their oral health routine to maintain their Invisalign trays.
Your teen also needs to attend fewer dental visits than with traditional braces. They simply need to change to the next set of trays in the series every one to two weeks as prescribed by their dentist. The new trays apply gentle pressure to help reposition your teen’s teeth.
Traditional braces are composed of metal brackets and archwires, which can scratch or cut the soft tissue inside your teen’s mouth. Invisalign is made from smooth thermoplastic, custom-fit to your child’s mouth. The trays are trimmed to contour the gum line to prevent irritation.
Because there are no adjustments or wires to tighten, Invisalign applies less pressure to your child’s teeth than conventional braces. This makes them more comfortable to wear throughout the day.
One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign for teens is its almost invisible appearance. The clear plastic is ultra-thin and conforms to the shape of your teen’s teeth. This means they are barely noticeable, even in photos.
Orthodontic devices can have a significant impact on your teen’s mental health. While studies show that any orthodontic intervention can improve teens’ self-esteem, teens typically prefer Invisalign clear aligners. The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that there has been a 66% increase in patients under 17 using Invisalign since 1989.
Faster treatment time
The average treatment length for traditional braces is approximately two years, depending on the severity of the orthodontic issues. Invisalign can straighten teeth in as little as six months for mild occlusions and up to 18 months for complex cases.
Is My Teen a Candidate for Invisalign?
While Invisalign is a highly effective treatment for most orthodontic issues, there are several cases that may exclude your teen from using Invisalign, including:
- Not having their complete set of adult teeth, including missing molars or retained primary “baby” teeth
- Orthodontic issues caused by facial or jawbone abnormalities
- Teeth that need to be extruded due to microdontia
- Teeth rotated more than 20°
- Cases that require bridgework
Is Invisalign Right for My Teen?
Invisalign offers several benefits for teens over traditional braces. However, it ultimately depends on the level of malocclusion and the complexity of your child’s orthodontic issues.
At Caputo Dental, we aim to provide the best and most complete dental care plans for you and your family. If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign for your teen, contact us at (630) 922-1311 today to schedule an appointment.