Clear aligners effectively treat a wide range of age groups and orthodontic malocclusions, including those had by teenagers. They love Invisalign due to the discretion of the clear, almost fully transparent aligners. So, is Invisalign Teen a viable option for your child?
Are They Responsible Enough?
Invisalign involves a lot of responsibility and self-discipline – in fact, most methods of orthodontic treatment do. There are a lot of elements and habits that go into a successful treatment, ones that your teen will need to adopt in order to make sure Invisalign works for them.
There has to be a level of accountability as far as how often your teen is wearing their clear aligners. For Invisalign to work properly, they must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day. The other two hours are for eating, practicing proper oral hygiene, or having any drink that isn’t plain water.
If your teen tends to be absent-minded or is resistant to orthodontic treatment in general, Invisalign may not be the most viable option for them. Neglecting to wear your Invisalign for the recommended amount of time can cause their teeth to shift back, potentially significantly delaying their treatment. In this case, traditional braces may be something to look into, as they’re bonded to your teeth with no flexibility in the matter.
Luckily, you’ll be able to monitor their treatment to make sure they’re being responsible. Invisalign Teen comes equipped with blue compliance indicators, which track your teen’s progress, and indicate if the clear aligners are not being worn as required.
If your teen is non-compliant with Invisalign, the indicators will turn bright blue. If this does happen, our team will have an open discussion with them about how to get them back on track, and the orthodontic consequences of not following their treatment plan. Usually, this is enough to get your child back on track and help them be successful in their treatment.
Do They Practice Good Oral Hygiene?
Creating positive oral health habits is key for a successful Invisalign treatment. If your teen is very diligent in brushing their teeth, flossing, and being compliant with their bi-annual cleanings and check-ups, then clear aligners may be a good fit for them.
It’s important to keep your teeth and aligners very clean throughout the process. There can be tight gaps in Invisalign that allow bacteria to build up, putting your teen at risk of developing cavities. Your teen experiencing oral health problems during their treatment may add unnecessary stress and complication to the process, so it’s important they’re diligent with their oral hygiene, and that you’re there for encouragement and reminders.
If you’re having trouble determining whether or not Invisalign is right for your teen, we can help gauge this during our consultation. We’ll have an open, honest discussion with them about what exactly is going to be expected of them during their treatment, what the dental consequences are for non-compliance, and whether or not they think this is something they can uphold to the best of their ability. Hearing the expectations from their orthodontist may help them understand how serious the situation is, and guide them towards the right path.
Are They Old Enough?
We usually start recommending Invisalign as a treatment option once your child is a young teenager. At this age, your child usually has a sense of responsibility and is mature enough to understand the risks and benefits of treatment with clear aligners.
Do They Have a Treatable Case?
Before getting your teen’s hopes up, we’ll do a full consultation and assessment of their current oral malocclusions and dental needs. While Invisalign is capable of treating moderate to severe malocclusions and misaligned bites, some cases may be too severe. In the event of an untreatable case, we can recommend other methods, such as braces. Braces are excellent at aligning even the most complicated bites.
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