Since Invisalign hit the market in 1998, people of all ages have embraced the almost invisible solution for straightening teeth. Great aesthetic appeal, superior comfort, and faster results make Invisalign attractive to people of any age, especially teens.
With so much emphasis on appearance and fitting the “norm”, the teen years can be challenging. With Invisalign custom aligners, teens can achieve a beautiful, healthy smile without feeling self-conscious.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment approach that uses clear aligners rather than traditional braces to move your teeth into position. The customized aligners, called trays, apply pressure to gradually shift your teeth. Your orthodontist monitors your progress, every step of the way, to make sure everything is working out appropriately.
Metal and ceramic braces are fixed orthodontic appliances (FOA), which are cemented into place. Invisalign aligners are removeable trays, so you get to take them out to eat, brush, and floss your teeth. This makes it easier to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout treatment.
Why teens love Invisalign
Of course, teens love that Invisalign aligners are almost undetectable, but that is one of many reasons young people prefer Invisalign to traditional braces.
Let’s face it, metal braces do not fit the image young people have for themselves. Appearance is a big deal for teens, impacting self-confidence and self-esteem. The last thing most teens want is to stand out in a negative way.
With Invisalign, teens can converse and smile with confidence, take pictures, and feel good about their appearance. And, although the aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours each for optimum results, they can be removed for a social emergency!
No food restrictions
Orthodontists discourage eating foods like popcorn, nuts, and chewy or sticky foods while wearing fixed braces because the braces can be damaged. Since Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating, there are no food restrictions.
Another downside of metal braces is that they tend to trap food. Not only is this unattractive, but it can be challenging to thoroughly clean food from fixed braces, which can result in unhealthy teeth and gums. Invisalign aligners can be easily removed for eating so there is no trapped food and teeth are easy to keep clean.
Metal brackets and wires of traditional braces can rub against inner cheek tissue and gums, causing irritation and sores. Invisalign aligners have no metal pieces, and are custom-made and trimmed, so they are unlikely to irritate mouth tissue.
However, any type of braces will cause some discomfort as they all exert pressure to shift teeth into new positions. Studies comparing the comfort of Invisalign vs. traditional braces find those treated with Invisalign report MUCH less discomfort.
Fewer emergencies and office visits
Broken or dislodges wires or broken brackets are not uncommon with traditional braces and can result in emergency visits to the dentist, disrupting teen (and parental) schedules. Invisalign aligners don’t have wires to break or brackets to crack, making unplanned office visits unlikely.
Another benefit for teens is that Invisalign requires far fewer and shorter office visits over the course of treatment.
Safer for sports
Teens with metal braces are more likely to sustain an injury to their mouth while playing a sport, even if they are wearing a mouth guard. While there is less risk of injury for teens with plastic aligners, most dentists and coaches recommend removing them during sports play and wearing a custom mouth guard.
The bottom line is teens are generally happier and more confident wearing Invisalign aligners, and more likely to agree to orthodontic treatment. And that is true for patients of any age.
A recent study found “Patients treated with Invisalign® have better periodontal health and greater satisfaction during orthodontic treatment than patients treated with fixed orthodontic appliances.”
Angeloni Orthodontics is a proud member of the beautiful Winter Park community! Our office prides itself on nurturing close, personal relationships with our patients while providing services–like Invisalign–to create stunning smiles. Make an appointment with Dr. Angeloni today!