The past few years have seen an interesting phenomenon. Expert orthodontists note that more and more teenagers are now voluntarily opting for braces. Young people are so conscious about their looks that they would prefer to get braces to correct any kind of imperfections and misalignments. With options like Invisalign braces for teenagers, getting perfect teeth is no longer a problem.

Invisible Braces or Conventional Appliances Are No Longer a Stigma

Statistics show that close to 80% of teens are now wearing braces. That’s mainly the reason why the stigma of having metal appliances is long gone. The availability of more discreet Invisalign braces for teenagers is possibly also why kids are open to wearing them. Even conventional braces are more advanced and look a lot more presentable. They are comfortable to wear and less likely to cause injuries to the tissues inside the mouth of the wearer.

Even so, the functionality and effectiveness of invisible braces make them a more preferred option. Kids wear plastic aligners readily thanks to their many positives over metal braces. They are also clearly dedicated to following the directions of their orthodontists. If you think your teenager might need braces, you’ll want to get them the best of treatment available today. If you need detailed information about the appropriate choice for your child, visit the nearby orthodontist in Calgary.

Do keep in mind that Invisalign is not always recommended. Oftentimes, conventional braces might be a more practical option because of the unique dental structure of the patient. Braces are useful and sometimes, essential to correct various other problems also. Crowding, misaligned teeth, and an improper bite can cause issues like difficulty in speaking and eating. Maintaining dental hygiene is also problematic since toothbrushes may not reach all the crevices between uneven teeth.

Choose the Right Age for Invisalign Treatment

As the expert orthodontist for Invisalign in Calgary will advise, it is important to time the treatment correctly. That’s because, the dental structure at say, 14 years is still developing, many teens haven’t cut all their permanent teeth. Some orthodontists prefer to delay treating the misalignment until the child is older. Others prefer to start fixing the problem early on so that the facial structure develops correctly. Chances are that you aren’t quite sure about the right option for your child. In that case, consider getting a second or third opinion until you’re completely satisfied that braces are the correct course of treatment. You’ll also want to keep in mind that there is a possibility of your child needing wisdom tooth removal as they grow older. The dentist may want to schedule the Invisalign braces for teenagers’ treatment accordingly.

Understanding What are Invisible Braces or Clear Aligners

Invisalign braces are essentially transparent plastic trays that resemble whitening trays that you’re probably familiar with. Night grinding guards that dentists recommend for bruxism also look like aligners. Patients getting treatment must wear them over the top or bottom teeth. Expert orthodontists begin by taking impressions and x-rays of the teen’s oral structure. Next, they create a plan of action according to how the teeth should look after the imperfections are removed. Typically, advanced software helps create a multi-dimensional view of the ideal alignment of the teeth and other dental tissues. The next step involves placing an order of a customized set of aligners.

Kids must wear each tray for a period of two weeks or more and the design gradually nudges the teeth into the desired position. Once the teeth respond to the pressure of the trays, you’ll move onto the next aligner. As the teeth continue to shift, you’ll progress to new braces. At the end of the treatment, the dentist might recommend wearing retainers for a while to maintain the perfection of the teeth.

Now that you’ve understood what are Invisalign braces for teenagers and how it works, let’s talk about some important facts about the treatment.

Invisalign Braces Work Just as Well as Conventional Braces

Patients can expect to receive clear aligners that are made especially for them. Since the dental structure of patients around the age of 16 years is still developing, Invisalign braces for teenagers are custom-made for them. In fact, clear aligners for teens are called Invisalign Teen®. While conventional braces use brackets, elastic bands, and wires, clear aligners use a series of plastic trays. These trays work just as well as metal braces and push the teeth into the right place. Some amount of discomfort is likely to result because of the pressure on the teeth. However, invisible braces usually cause less pain.

The Cost of Getting Invisible Braces is More or Less the Same as Conventional Braces

In the past, since Invisalign was newly introduced, it was more expensive as compared to conventional braces. Further, dental insurance typically did not cover the treatment since it was considered cosmetic dentistry. However, dentists now stress the importance of having perfectly aligned teeth for preventing tooth decay and long-term issues. You can now expect that your insurance provider will cover around half the cost of the treatment. Invisalign braces for teenagers can cost an estimated $2,000 to $5,500. Of course, the expense can go higher if your child needs more extensive care. Conventional braces, on the other hand, may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000. So, you see, there isn’t much of a difference in the price points. And, considering the convenience of invisible braces, opting for them makes perfect sense.

Replacing Lost Aligners is Usually Not a Problem

Losing aligners is, unfortunately, a common occurrence since they are removable. Your child might take them out to eat and then, forget to put them on again. Kids also tend to leave them around or misplace them. If that happens, know that it is possible to get them replaced. You’ll call the orthodontist and place an order for a new tray. Oftentimes, the doctor might call you in for an examination. In case the treatment has been progressing well, the dentist might recommend moving on the next tray in the series of invisible braces. However, do keep in mind that if your teenager loses multiple aligners, you might end up having to place an order for the entire set. If that happens, the cost of treatment could go up.

The Standard Wearing Time for Invisible Braces is 20 to 22 Hours a Day

Modern-day teenagers are conscious of their looks. For this reason, getting them to wear the aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours each day is not likely to be a problem. Your dentist will explain that this minimum duration is necessary for the Invisalign braces for teenagers to work as intended. The clear trays can be removed when eating and drinking. After the meal, you’ll clean your teeth and place the aligner back into place. Dentists also expect you to wear them when sleeping. However, since the braces not fixed, teens can remove them when playing contact sports or any other extracurricular activities.

Teenagers Can Eat Anything They Want

One of the biggest downsides of conventional braces is that the wearer must avoid certain foods. For instance, chewy candies can get stuck in the wires while hard and crunchy items can twist or crack the brackets. In fact, when kids inadvertently eat the wrong foods, you’ll have to rush them to the dentist to fix any misalignment or displacement that might have occurred. However, there are absolutely no diet restrictions for invisible braces. Teens can eat and drink anything they want because they’ll simply remove the aligners and replace them afterward. The only necessary precaution is to brush carefully after eating and then, reinsert. The dentist may also recommend avoiding any foods that have artificial or dark coloring agents that can possibly stain the aligners.

Some Basic Precautions are Necessary

Although Invisalign braces for teenagers have their positives, there are a few significant challenges in getting the desired results. To begin with, young people typically don’t wear the aligners for the necessary number of hours. Further, getting used to any kind of braces takes time. Many kids tend to develop a slight lisp when speaking or they might find excessive saliva in the mouth. Take the time to explain to the child that these minor irritants are common during the initial days of the treatment. Over time, as the mouth adjusts to the aligners, it is possible to speak clearly again. When weighing the positive and downsides, a perfect smile with teeth carefully aligned is well worth the patience and effort.

Each clear aligner tray is worn for up to 2 weeks. Your orthodontist will likely provide the next two aligners in the sequence and direct you on how to make the change. Appointments are typically scheduled at intervals of 6 weeks. This is important not just to check the progress, but also to make sure the teeth are in good condition. If needed, adjustments can be made according to any particular problem the teen may be having with the braces.

Monitoring Progress is Not a Problem

Coming in for checkups regularly is important so that the orthodontist can monitor the progress of the treatment. If the patient has been wearing their invisible braces for the recommended time, they’ll show improvement at the appropriate pace. However, if the teeth are not moving according to schedule, that could be an indication that the child is not following directions. For instance, not wearing them long enough or not placing them correctly. After a thorough examination, your dentist will provide advice on how to manage the aligners the right way.

Advanced Invisalign braces for teenagers have an additional feature called “compliance indicators.” These tools are located on the aligners in the form of colored dots. The marks are created out of a special compound that fades over time when the aligners are worn regularly. In fact, the degree of fading can also indicate that it is time to replace the tray with the subsequent one in the series. If the marks have not faded when you arrive for the next appointment, that’s a sign that your child hasn’t been wearing the invisible braces for the required time

Invisalign braces for teenagers have an added feature. Since their permanent teeth have not erupted fully, the aligners are designed to make space for them as and when they emerge. To make sure that the treatment works on a long-term basis and is effective even as the dental structure grows, aligners have “eruption tabs.”

Maintaining Dental Hygiene is a Lot Easier

The biggest challenge with conventional braces is that they’re hard to clean. Wearers may find it hard to reach all the corners of the mouth since the braces interfere with the movement of the toothbrush and floss. Dentists and oral hygienists must pay special attention to teens wearing braces. And, make sure to remove all plaque accumulation when they come in for checkups. Food also tends to get stuck in the brackets and metal wires. So, kids have a higher risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

Changing times are seeing young people concerned about their looks and insistent on getting the treatment they need at a young age. If you need more information and advice on the suitability of Invisalign braces for teenagers, stop by at our clinic in Calgary. Spend some time discussing the positives and downsides of invisible braces with our expert dentist and orthodontist, Dr. Jennifer Silver. She’ll also let you know if invisible aligners are a good choice. Or, if your teenager will need conventional braces.

Call us at this number: (403) 253-1248 and we’ll help you schedule an appointment. If you just need queries answered, for now, use this page to get in touch with us. We’ll send you a detailed email with all the information you need.

References:

  1. Once the Height of Teen Embarrassment, Braces have Somehow Become Cool 
  2. Good Dental Hygiene Is Critical for Kids with Braces
  3. No More Brace Face? Teens Increasingly Use Clear Aligners

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calgary dentist jen silver

Dr. Jennifer Silver is one of the top dental surgeons practicing in Calgary, Alberta using an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to helping her patients. She believes in offering expert advice and make recommendations to patients just as she would to a family member. Dr. Silver collaborates with a large network of specialists and taps into their expertise to provide holistic care.

Dr. Jennifer Silver has earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her academic qualifications include deans honours list, an oral surgery award and best research project. Before attaining this degree, she graduated with honors from Dalhousie University’s Dental Hygiene Program and worked in the sphere of dentistry for 10 years. Dr. Silver is currently helping patients with dental issues such as TMJ pain and sleep apnea in addition to dentistry. She is keenly interested in constantly upgrading her skills and hopes to gain additional training in oral surgery in the future.