A Parent’s Guide to Invisalign® Teen

Years ago, most of our Tri-Cities Invisalign patients were grown-ups. However, as the treatment has evolved, it has become a really effective option for younger patients too. In fact, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of teenagers opting for Invisalign Teen instead of braces. It makes sense. After all, what’s not to love about a smile solution that is removable, virtually invisible and has no food restrictions? However, parents often have questions when they’re considering Invisalign vs. braces for their child. Well, Sturgill Orthodontics has answers! Here’s what parents should know about Invisalign Teen:

1. Teenagers love Invisalign Teen

Things like the cost of Invisalign Teen and its effectiveness may be higher on a parents’ list of priorities but it is important to keep in mind that when teens feel comfortable with their treatment, they’re more likely to stick to the plan, which leads to great results. Invisalign Teen aligners are removable and they’re crafted from clear, smooth, BPA-free plastic so they’re extremely comfortable and almost invisible. While plenty of our teenage patients love the idea of traditional braces and getting to choose their elastic colors, others don’t like to draw attention to their smile, particularly if they’re very self-conscious about their teeth. That’s okay too. For teenagers who prefer a discrete treatment option, Invisalign Teen can help them feel more confident all throughout treatment because most people won’t notice they’re wearing the aligners.

2. Invisalign Teen is effective

Invisalign Teen is just as effective as braces in the hands of an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Sturgill. He’s a Gold+ Invisalign provider with experience treating even complex cases with clear aligners. In fact, he teaches aspiring orthodontists the ins and outs of straightening teeth. In addition to his expertise, the treatment planning process is also extremely precise. We take a digital scan of your child’s mouth and a computerized 3D model is created. Dr. Sturgill maps out each individual tooth movement directly on the model. Invisalign then fabricates custom aligners based on his specifications.

Invisalign Teen is designed especially for a teenager’s unique needs. There are features like eruption tabs, which accommodate erupting molars. The SmartTrack® material ensures controlled, predictable tooth movements, allowing us to treat issues ranging from spacing to overbites. Additionally, the aligners are outfitted with blue compliance indicators, which let us know if your teen is wearing their aligners enough.

3. Visits will be shorter

Invisalign Teen involves a series of custom, clear plastic aligners. Each set of aligners is programmed to shift certain teeth and as your teenager makes their way through the series, their new smile takes shape. Dr. Sturgill doesn’t have to do adjustments like he does with braces. While teens will still have to come in for occasional checkups, these appointments are short and sweet.

4. There will be no emergency appointments 

Speaking of appointments and saving you time, one of the biggest differences as far as Invisalign vs. braces is the aligners don’t have brackets or wires. There’s nothing that can break or cause injury, which means you won’t have to deal with any repair appointments.

5. Teens will have to be responsible 

A big thing to consider when thinking about Invisalign vs. braces is how responsible your teen is. Invisalign Teen only works if the patient actually wears the aligners. For best results, it’s recommended teenagers keep the aligners in for 20 to 22 hours per day, only taking them out to eat and brush and floss their teeth. They’ll also have to keep track of them when they’re not wearing them since frequently losing aligners can throw their treatment off course. Fortunately, Invisalign Teen aligners have those aforementioned compliance indicators and there are a few free replacement aligners included in the system. Yet, for some teenagers, the fact that braces are bonded to the teeth and stay put for their entire treatment is a benefit.

6. You don’t have to worry about food restrictions 

Certain foods can damage braces, such as anything really hard, chewy or sticky like caramel, taffy, popcorn, whole, raw apples and chips. Since teens take their aligners out to eat, they (and you) will not have to worry about food restrictions. Kids can eat whatever they want as they straighten their teeth.  

7. Oral hygiene is a breeze

Brushing and flossing with braces is a little more challenging because teens have to work around brackets and wires and there are more places for food particles and plaque to accumulate. If teens don’t keep up with their oral hygiene, they’re at a higher risk for tooth decay. With Invisalign Teen, kids are able to brush and floss as they normally would to ward off cavities and gum disease.

8. Aligners won’t interfere with sports or playing an instrument

Invisalign Teen doesn’t have hardware so there is no risk of your teen cutting their mouth while playing sports or trying to hit a note on a wind instrument. Patients can take the aligners out to practice their flute or to wear a mouthguard during a game.

If you’re interested in learning more about Johnson City Invisalign Teen treatment, book a complimentary consultation with Dr. Jeremiah Sturgill today. Regardless of the treatment option you and your teenager decide on, we’ll ensure the experience and, most importantly, results are exceptional!