What Is Invisalign Teen®?
Invisalign Teen® is designed specifically for younger patients and corrects misalignment issues using a series of clear, smooth plastic aligners. For the teeth to move from their current positions to where they are supposed to be, pressure must be applied. With braces, this is done using metal brackets with wires threaded between them. With Invisalign®, the pressure is applied gently using comfortable and invisible aligners. As each of the aligners in the series is worn, they apply the right amount of pressure on the teeth to move them into their correct positions.
Six Things to Know About Invisalign Teen® Before You Visit Our Office
Teens Love Invisalign®
If your teen is comfortable throughout their orthodontic treatment, they will be more committed to following through with it. Orthodontics is not a treatment that patients can complete in one visit. Teens must wear their Invisalign® aligners for at least 21 hours per day. However, they can remove the aligners to eat, brush their teeth, play sports, or for special occasions.
Over the course of the treatment, it will be up to your teen to remember to wear their aligners, keep up with appointments, and care for their teeth. While the same level of commitment is necessary when wearing braces, Invisalign® patients report being more satisfied throughout the treatment and after.
Easier to Use
One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign Teen® as an alternative to braces for teens is that the clear aligners are incredibly easy to use. Invisalign aligners function like removable retainers. Your teen puts the aligners in and takes them out as needed since they are not permanently fixed onto the teeth.
As long as they brush their teeth after each meal, your teen will be able to eat any of their favorite foods and not have to adjust their diet. This is much more convenient than braces, where the diet needs to be adjusted and the brushing and flossing routine requires additional tools, taking up to twenty minutes at a time.
Teeth Stay Cleaner
Since teeth are easier to keep clean when wearing Invisalign Teen®, the risk of developing teeth stains or even cavities is considerably lower. When a patient wears braces, food can become stuck all along the brackets and underneath the wires. These areas can become hotbeds for bacteria and plaque that can eat away at the teeth and lead to decay. To prevent this, special brushes need to be used on a daily basis so that the brackets and teeth can be properly cleaned.
Proper dental hygiene with braces can be difficult for adults, let alone children or teens. This is one reason that Invisalign Teen® is an ideal treatment option. Since the aligners can be removed when eating, there is no risk of food getting stuck or for plaque to develop. Since the aligners can be removed when brushing and flossing, the patient’s normal oral hygiene routine can be maintained.
Better for Self-Esteem
While braces are not as bulky as they used to be, many patients still feel self-conscious when wearing them. When teens hear they will need to wear braces, many may feel insecure about looking different, become worried about standing out, and may begin to dislike the idea of going to school with metal braces in their mouths.
At Well Being Dentistry, we understand that no matter how efficient braces treatment can be, some teens may prefer an alternative due to feeling insecure or self-conscious. As we are parents ourselves, we encourage you not to force the issue since braces are a long-term commitment and if your teen is not happy on day one, it is unlikely that they will be happy a few months into the process.
Instead, we recommend choosing Invisalign Teen®. Our Santa Clara dental office can provide this nearly invisible alternative to braces for teens, allowing your child to smile every day of the treatment without feeling like they need to hide their teeth. As your teen’s smile improves throughout the treatment process, they will notice the changes and their positivity will only increase.
We can let you know how long the treatment with Invisalign Teen® will last when you come in for a consultation. Generally speaking, most teens need to wear their aligners for around 18 months. The overall treatment time with Invisalign Teen® can vary depending on the severity of the misalignment and how often the teen removes the aligners.
The aligners need to be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day, so if your teen removes the aligners for too long, they risk extending the treatment time. Invisalign Teen® treatment takes commitment and care but can provide a positive experience in comparison to other methods.
Invisalign Teen® Is More Comfortable
At Well Being Dentistry, we hear many of our patients mention how comfortable they are during their Invisalign treatment. However, anytime the teeth move from their positions, there is bound to be some level of discomfort. Whether your teen wears metal braces or Invisalign aligners, they may feel sore following an adjustment or after switching to a new set of aligners. This is perfectly normal.
The difference in comfort between braces and Invisalign is more noticeable when we consider how patients feel on a regular basis. Since traditional braces have metal brackets and wires, they can rub up against the cheeks and the inside of the mouth causing irritation. It is not uncommon for patients to get sores or cuts in their mouths as a result. Naturally, this is inconvenient and entirely avoidable when choosing Invisalign Teen®. Since Invisalign aligners are made from clear plastic, they are smooth and will not cut your teen’s mouth during treatment.
Check out what others are saying about our alternative to braces on Yelp: Alternative to Braces for Teens Santa Clara
How Do I Get Started With Invisalign®?
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Definition of Invisalign® Terminology
- Aligner Trays
- For Invisalign® treatment, the patient receives a series of aligner trays and swaps out each one for the next one in the series every two weeks in order to gradually straighten their teeth.
- Blue Compliance Indicator (Invisalign® Teen)
- The blue compliance indicator is a small blue dot on the aligners that will fade from blue to clear in order to indicate if the patient is wearing the aligner for the proper amount of time and where the patient is in the Invisalign® process.
- ClinCheck® Software
- ClinCheck® software allows professionals to map out the straightening process the patient’s teeth will go through with Invisalign® in great detail.
- Gum Line
- The gum line is the line in the mouth where the teeth and gums meet. If a patient struggles with gum recession, then the gum tissue around the teeth may begin to recede.
- Incisal Ridges
- Incisal ridges are the portions of the crown of a tooth that make up the complete incisal portion. They are used to determine if the patient has an overbite.
- iTero Element® Scanner
- An iTero Element® scanner allows dental professionals to create a 3D image of the patient’s teeth in minutes and predict what it will take to move the teeth into proper alignment.
- Malocclusion is the condition in which the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly when the bite is closed. Malocclusion types can include overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite; all of which are treatable with Invisalign®.
- An overbite is a type of malocclusion that occurs when the upper teeth jut out over the lower teeth, covering them and causing dental issues.
- Polyurethane Resin
- Polyurethane resin is a USP Class VI medical grade, high molecular weight compound that makes up the Invisalign® aligners.
- SmartForce Attachments
- SmartForce attachments are small attachments that dental professionals place on the patient’s teeth before placing aligners to help move the teeth.
- Smart Track® Material
- Smart Track® material is used for Invisalign® aligners to increase comfort, improve control of movement, increases the speed of treatment, and apply gentle force to the teeth over time.
- Smile-Scan analyzes the way a patient smiles by measuring the position of the mouth and eyes before giving a score.
- Vivera® Retainers
- Vivera® is a type of retainer made from clear plastic that helps to maintain orthodontic corrections after treatment.