Whether you’re a teen who needs orthodontic work or you’re a parent looking at options for your teen, you’ve probably looked into traditional, metal braces. However, there are alternatives to unsightly metal braces, including invisalign®.
Why Not Braces?
If you’re a parent, you may have had metal braces yourself; if you’re a teen, you may have friends who have them. In either case, you know the downsides. Metal braces can:
- Cut the inside of your mouth
- Make eating difficult
- Alter the manner in which you brush and floss
- Impede normal activities, such as playing an instrument
- Change your appearance
Our cosmetic dentists understand these downsides very well and, in turn, offer a better option to teenage patients.
What Is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is a teeth straightening method that eliminates the uncomfortable metal associated with braces and uses a series of custom-made, smooth, clear trays to align the teeth. These BPA-free plastic trays are switched approximately every two weeks and, through the process of wearing the custom trays, the teeth gradually shift position over time. Your dentist outlines the plan for your teeth and ensures that each custom-created tray takes you one step closer to your perfect smile.
Benefits of Invisalign®
Most teens love Invisalign® because it involves the use of trays that are virtually invisible; the clear aligner trays straighten the teeth without altering your appearance. But, you may not be aware of the other benefits Invisalign® offers. With Invisalign®, you’ll get:
- Comfort. Because the aligner trays are constructed from smooth plastic, they don’t cause pain or sores in the cheeks and gums, a problem that is associated with abrasive metal braces.
- Convenience. The aligner trays can be removed, meaning you can take them out to eat and to brush and floss as normal.
- More Free Time. Invisalign® requires fewer visits than traditional braces, meaning less impact on your schedule, whether you’re a teen or a parent.
- Visibility. Because the aligner trays are almost totally invisible, the progress of your smile will be more visible! You’ll be able to see how much your smile is improving without the metal obstructions of braces.
Are There Any Risks?
Invisalign® is a safe and effective method of aligning the teeth; however, you should know that Invisalign® requires a high level of patient responsibility. Because the trays are removable, you must be vigilant about your own dental hygiene; you need to clean the trays frequently in order to ensure that food, plaque, and bacteria don’t become trapped between the aligners and the teeth.
What Does Treatment Involve?
Invisalign® treatment involves three simple steps:
- Step 1: Talk to your dentist. Your cosmetic dentist will talk in depth with you to determine whether you’re a good candidate for Invisalign®. He or she will also discuss treatment time, cost, insurance coverage, and other concerns or questions you may have.
- Step 2: Get a 3-D image taken of your teeth. Your dentist will create a 3-D image using x-rays, pictures, and impressions. From this image, he or she will design your long-term treatment plan.
- Step 3: Receive and Begin Wearing Custom Aligner Trays. Once you receive your custom-designed trays, you can begin wearing them (at least 20 to 22 hours per day). Your dentist will advise you when to switch trays. (Trays are typically switched out about every two weeks.)
How Long Does It Take?
For teens, Invisalign® treatment time generally matches the time it takes for traditional braces. Your dentist will advise you of your estimated treatment time during your initial consultation.
To discuss your options with one of our Invisalign® dentists, please contact us today for a free, personalized consultation.