Invisalign and Your Teenager

There’s no denying that Invisalign has taken over the market of orthodontics for adults, whether they are working professionals or stay at home parents. The benefits for this demographic far outweigh any possible negatives; patients and dentists alike have provided overwhelmingly positive reviews.

But what about using Invisalign for your teenager? You want what’s best for your kids, even your teen who may sometime drive you crazy. So what you want to know is: Is Invisalign an orthodontic treatment that will both fit into your adolescent’s life and, more importantly, work effectively?


Understanding How Invisalign Works

Detractors may tell you that Invisalign has only been in use since 2000. It doesn’t have nearly the track record that bracket and wire braces do. BUT so far, dentists and orthodontists around the world are seeing results comparable to traditional braces, with few exceptions.

Patients have also written very positive reviews of the treatment. However, Invisalign is only as successful as the patient is compliant. The trays must be worn for at least 22 hours each day for optimal results.  Since the appliance is removable, it might be easy for younger patients to forget to put it back in after cleaning (or lunch at school.)


Are There Drawbacks?

The main drawback for teenagers is, as mentioned above, compliance.  Even a responsible kid makes mistakes- sometimes costly ones. Like wrapping up their Invisalign tray in a napkin while they eat, and then throwing the napkin away.

Also, as a parent you know to choose your battles wisely (especially with a teenager), and don’t pick one you cannot win. If your teen is at all resistant to the idea of orthodontics, Invisalign might not be the right option. Unless you are with him 24/7, you won’t be able to ensure the trays are in and working.

Secondarily, if your young adult is not diligent about good oral hygiene, Invisalign may backfire. The trays have to be taken out to eat and drink, and must be cleaned daily to avoid discoloration. Additionally, your child will need to brush and floss after every meal (and snack) in order to avoid an accelerated rate of decay and gum disease. In schools, the meal period tends to be very short, only 20-25 minutes. Will your teen be able to brush and floss effectively in the time remaining after eating their lunch?


So What Are the Positives?

Invisalign provides rapid, invisible treatment to align the teeth and bite. When teens are compliant with wearing and cleaning their trays, the smile becomes straighter without the pain and irritation of “metal mouth.” Because you change the trays every two weeks on your own, your family will have to spend less time at the dentist or orthodontist office. You’ll have a brilliantly aligned smile and bite in six to eighteen months, as opposed to four years with braces.

If you have questions about Invisalign treatment for you or your teen, call Raleigh Dental Arts. We will be pleased to make an appointment for you to consult with Dr. Agarwal and plan the best course of treatment for you and your teen.