Between TikTok, Instagram, and selfies in every situation, today’s teenagers are a lot more visible than most of us have ever been. For teens who are self-conscious about their smile, all that sharing can feel intimidating! The team here at Lake Jackson Orthodontics wants every patient to embrace what’s unique about them, but we also understand the difference that a confident smile can make to your overall outlook on life. Fortunately, we offer a variety of affordable treatment options to help teens achieve a healthy and happy smile!
One of our most popular treatments is Invisalign clear aligner therapy. Instead of brackets and wires, this innovative system straightens teeth using a series of removable clear aligners. This is beneficial in many ways and offers our teen patients an extra measure of flexibility that they love! To learn more about why so many teens are choosing to straighten their smiles with Invisalign, keep reading below.
What is Invisalign clear aligner therapy?
Invisalign gives teen patients a subtle way to straighten their teeth without any of the restrictions that can accompany traditional braces. The aligners are made from a special polyurethane material that’s nearly invisible and customized to fit over the patient’s teeth. As the teeth begin to shift, each aligner will be switched out for the next in the series in order to keep up with that movement. This usually occurs every week or two but will depend on the patient’s specific treatment plan.
Because the aligners are removable, patient compliance is critical. They must be worn for 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process in order to work effectively. Failure to wear the aligners as directed can affect the final results and may lead to longer treatment times as well. The good news is, Invisalign aligners can be removed for short periods of time! They’re designed to be taken out when eating and drinking anything other than water, and while brushing and flossing, as well. That makes it easy for teens to stick to the guidelines they’ve been given!
Our practice offers Invisalign Teen as well as the original Invisalign system. These aligners have additional features to make it easier for teen patients to navigate the treatment process. Special “eruption tabs” hold the appropriate amount of space open for molars that have not fully grown in, and the aligners have built-in “compliance indicators.” These indicators fade with wear, allowing parents and orthodontists to ensure the aligners are being worn as directed.
What are some benefits of Invisalign treatment?
Besides the obvious benefit of improving the appearance of a patient’s smile, Invisalign can resolve many of the issues associated with a bad bite or misaligned jaws. Both can lead to a range of symptoms, including headaches, pain in the face or jaw, and general inflammation. Invisalign aligners give teens a beautifully aligned smile with an optimized bite pattern. That means it will feel just as good as it looks! Here are some of the other benefits the Invisalign system offers.
Works as well as traditional braces
The Invisalign system works well for a range of orthodontic problems. The aligners can treat cases of underbite, overbite, and overcrowding, among other issues. When teens are compliant in wearing their aligners the recommended 20-22 hours a day, Invisalign can be just as successful as traditional braces.
Traditional braces take some getting used to, and food restrictions are often one of the steepest learning curves. Patients in braces need to avoid eating anything hard or chewy to protect their appliance, which can put a real damper on school lunches and social activities!
Because Invisalign aligners are removable and designed to be taken out at mealtimes, teens can eat just about anything they usually would as long as they maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Even with a removable appliance, patients need to be vigilant about brushing and flossing after eating. This will help prevent bacteria from being trapped against the teeth when they put the aligner back in.
As adults, it can be easy for us to forget all the pressures of being a teenager. We may underestimate how self-conscious a teen is about their crooked teeth or other dental problems affecting their smile. While traditional braces are an excellent long-term solution for orthodontic issues, they can make some teenagers feel even more self-conscious about their appearance.
The worry that braces will make them stand out during the treatment process can be a real source of stress for some teens. Because Invisalign aligners are clear and removable, the orthodontic journey is much more relaxed and comfortable!
Invisalign is the clear winner for teens at Lake Jackson Orthodontics
While it’s true that not every teen will be a good fit for Invisalign, many will be. The system has been designed for patients who have lost all their baby teeth and whose second molars are at least partially erupted. If this sounds like your teen, get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation for them with Dr. McGrory! We’d love to meet you both and take a look at how we can transform their smile with Invisalign clear aligners.