What is Invisalign?
Many of us once suffered the discomfort and embarrassment of metal braces. Fortunately, for today’s teens there is a better option. Invisalign is a comfortable and nearly invisible way to straighten teeth. Like traditional braces, these clear aligners work gradually to shift the alignment of teeth—but unlike braces, Invisalign is barely noticeable, not to mention easy to maintain. This technology even lets teens eat what they want, since they remove the aligners before eating or drinking.
Clear aligners aren’t a new technology; adults have been using them for more than a decade now. But until recently, Invisalign was not typically recommended for teens. There were two reasons for this:
- First, there was a concern that teens might not comply with the instructions to wear the aligners for 22 hours a day (basically any time they were not eating, drinking, or brushing). This issue has now been addressed by the use of built-in “compliance indicators” on the aligners. These indicators are colored dots that gradually fade with use, so that it’s obvious whether or not the aligners have been worn as instructed.
- The second concern that kept teens from using Invisalign initially was the fact that teens often still have some permanent teeth coming in. It was thought that the planned movement of the teeth using aligners would be disturbed by the appearance of new permanent teeth. Fortunately, Invisalign aligners designed especially for teens are now available. These special aligners come with built-in “eruption tabs” to hold space for newly appearing permanent teeth.
So, is Invisalign treatment the right option for your teen?
It depends on the type of orthodontic treatment that’s needed, but we are finding that clear aligners are very popular with eligible teens! These thin plastic devices are custom-made and designed to be worn in a graduated series to shift teeth slightly with each aligner. This system avoids the issues associated with traditional metal braces, such as sore spots in the mouth from poking wires and trouble keeping teeth clean. And, of course, teens feel more confident because the Invisalign system is much less noticeable to others than metal braces.
If you’d like to find out whether your teen is eligible for Invisalign, please give our office a call at (816) 587-6444 so that we can address your questions. You can also email me directly anytime at email@example.com.