The sight of adolescents with braces has become so commonplace that we often don’t think twice about it. However, conventional braces still present certain disadvantages: they conceal one’s natural teeth, obstruct hygiene, and can make teenagers self-conscious about smiling. Luckily, the Invisalign® treatment plan can produce results comparable to braces. Our Edmonton dentist provides this treatment for qualifying adolescent patients looking for an alternative to braces.
The Invisalign® Treatment Plan
The treatment process for teenagers and adults remains the same, with a few additional features offered by Invisalign Teen®. Initially, patients will have X-ray images, digital images, and impressions taken of their teeth by their dentist; these will provide the framework for the customized aligners. Each set of aligners will then be crafted in accordance with the patient’s treatment plan to gradually shift teeth into place.
Patients will then be required to wear their aligners for at least 22 hours a day, allowing time to remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing. With each new set, patients’ teeth are slightly readjusted, continually working toward a final goal. The entire process takes about as long as traditional braces would, with individual estimates depending on the patient.
Additional Features for Teenagers
To address concerns that are exclusive to teenage patients, Invisalign Teen®includes additional features for the best possible results.
- Eruption tabs: Because adolescents may still require time for their adult teeth to fully develop, aligners come with “eruption tabs” that allow space for second molars to come in. These tabs also help align the molars as they grow, preventing them from becoming crooked or growing too far into the opposite molar’s space (called supra-eruption).
- Compliance indicators: The Invisalign®treatment can only work when patients consistently wear their aligners. Therefore, each teen aligner comes with a blue compliance indicator attached. The indicator is discreetly out of sight during use, but after removing an aligner, teens and their parents can gauge how long it has been worn. This encourages patients to keep their aligners on, and serves as a helpful reminder when they don’t.
- Replacement aligners: Aligners are durable, but they can still be misplaced during meals or hygiene. For teens, Invisalign®provides six free replacements for those that may be lost or somehow damaged.
Benefits of Invisalign Teen®
The advantages of using invisible aligners can be especially beneficial for students, as it provides them with the opportunity to:
- With braces, hard or sticky foods should be avoided, as they can cause the hardware to snap off or bend. Since aligners are removable, you do not have to worry about your eating habits interfering with straight teeth. Just remember to brush before putting them back on.
- Brush and floss easily: Braces can make brushing and flossing a chore. If patients are not careful, it can result in extra plaque or even decay. Removable aligners allow you to brush and floss as you normally would.
With a little patience and commitment, it’s possible to have a stunning smile for years to come. If you’re considering Invisalign® for yourself or a family member, contact our office to set up an appointment.