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By Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer

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Topics: Invisalign

You’ve had a suspicion for awhile now, but a visit to the orthodontist has confirmed it: Your teen needs braces. The orthodontist then mentions a great treatment option you haven’t thought of : Invisalign for teens.

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Your orthodontist explains that these are clear aligners that are used to fix many simple and moderate alignment issues. This, you think, just may be perfect. But before you jump in—or get too excited—you have some questions...

Here are five questions to ask your orthodontist about Invisalign for teens.


1. Is There Pain?

One of the first questions your teen is likely to ask is, “Will there be pain?”

Take comfort in being able to tell your child that Invisalign for teens is much less uncomfortable than traditional braces. There’s some mild discomfort as their mouth gets used to the new aligners, but then they will feel little to no discomfort throughout the treatment time.


2. How Long Will I Wear Them?

The second most important question a kid can ask about Invisalign is, “How long do I have to wear them?” The answer is likely to be as long as traditional braces, unfortunately. There’s no firm rule as every orthodontic treatment is different. You’ll need to speak to your orthodontist about your teen’s treatment to receive an accurate timeline.

Good news, though: Your teen won’t have to wear them every second of every day. Invisalign for teens can be easily removed to eat and clean your teeth. Another added bonus is that they are clear aligners, meaning once they’re in, most people will never know your teen is wearing them.


3. What Won’t I Be Able to Eat?

Your teen is going to be afraid they won’t be able to eat their favourite meal for a while. But with Invisalign, all types of food can be eaten. Since the aligners can be popped out easily, and only need to be in for about twenty-two hours a day, there are no dietary restrictions. Just take them out, brush teeth thoroughly afterwards, and put the aligner back in. It’s as easy as that!


4. Is There Anything I Can’t Do While Wearing Aligners?

Is Invisalign going to affect your teen’s lifestyle? In other words, “Will this affect me hanging out with my friends?” It’s a good question, especially since there are some limitations. First, it’s best not to eat with them in (but as already discussed, they can be popped out for meals). Wearing them during sports is also a bad idea, as it could become a choking hazard or damage the aligners if your teen takes a stray ball to the face. But again, since they can easily be removed and replaced, they can just be left out during the game. But regular, day-to-day activities are unlikely to be hampered with aligners.


5. Will Invisalign Work for Me?

The final question your teen will have will probably be, “Will they work for me?” While Invisalign isn’t as effective for all alignment issues compared to traditional wires and braces, they got better and better at handling advanced cases over the time. The technology has advanced to the point where we can do a lot more with Invisalign today. But as every bite and alignment issue is different, you’ll need to talk to your orthodontist about whether or not they’re the right choice in your teen’s situation.

Invisalign for teens is a great alternative solution to traditional braces.

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Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer

Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer, BDS, PhD, FRCD (C), an Edmonton Orthodontist who is a registered specialist and a fellow of the Canadian Royal College of Dentists of Canada in the specialty of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. He received his undergraduate degree in Dentistry in 2003 and his PhD in Orthodontics in 2012 from the University of Alberta. He founded City Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry to provide care in the City of Edmonton.

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