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Invisalign for Teens: A Guide for Parents and Adolescents



April 27, 2023

The teen years are a time of change for everyone, as children start to mature into young adults and parents work to adapt to everything that means. They are also one of the best times to receive orthodontic treatment. One of the most popular options for straightening smiles is Invisalign Teen. How is Invisalign Teen different from traditional Invisalign, and is it right for your child?

What Is Invisalign Teen?

Traditional braces use brackets and wires to gradually adjust your smile, straighten your teeth, and get rid of any imperfections. Invisalign was developed as an alternative that is more comfortable and just as effective. Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are both systems of clear aligners that are customized to your specific goals and needs. They can be used to correct a broad range of bite and cosmetic issues.

How Are Invisalign and Invisalign Teen Similar?

Both Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are based on the same system of clear aligner trays that are worn in a specific order to shift your teeth. Both types of trays are made from a proprietary material that gently hugs the teeth for a comfortable experience. Aligner trays also have smooth, rounded edges, so many people find them less irritating than traditional braces.

How Are Invisalign and Invisalign Teen Different?

Despite having many similarities, there are a few things that differ between Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. One of the biggest differences is obvious when you take a look at your clear aligner trays. Invisalign Teen is designed with a small blue dot on the backside of each tray. These dots are a simple way for your teenager’s orthodontist to tell whether or not they have been compliant with wearing them. The dot is designed to wear away naturally when the trays are worn between 20-22 hours every day.

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen also each have different numbers of trays involved in the program. We know that teenagers are often slightly less responsible than adults and that things can happen. As a result, the Invisalign Teen program includes additional replacement trays that can be created for your child in the event that they lose one of their current trays. These replacement trays are already built into the cost of the program, which makes it easier to budget and reduces stress over surprise expenses throughout the course of treatment.

Another key difference is that Invisalign Teen aligners have the option for eruption tabs. This term is used to describe spaces in the clear aligners that can be added to make sure that your teen’s adult teeth can erupt normally. If your child still has some baby teeth or adult teeth that are developing, this lets them benefit from orthodontic treatment now while still allowing their teeth to grow.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Invisalign Teen?

Clear aligners are a popular choice for many reasons. Some of the biggest reasons why patients opt for Invisalign Teen include:

- Clear aligner trays can be removed from your mouth for short periods of time. This makes it much easier to take pictures, eat, drink, and thoroughly floss and brush your teeth. This can be particularly important for teenagers, as they may struggle to adapt to the dietary modifications that are necessary with traditional bracket braces.

- While we might all associate traditional braces with being a teenager, many children and teens wish to avoid getting braces partially because they are self-conscious about how it will make them feel. By getting Invisalign Teen clear aligners, your child will not need to be self-conscious about their smile.

- Another one of the most common reasons why some teenagers are nervous about getting orthodontic treatment is the pain and discomfort that they associate with the process. Invisalign clear aligners are much more comfortable than traditional braces, which makes them more appealing to both adults and teens.

- Traditional braces have brackets that can be broken when eating something particularly sticky or crunchy. Because teenagers can already struggle with this, it often means that parents are stuck taking an emergency trip to the dentist in the middle of the week at least once over the course of treatment. Because Invisalign clear aligners are removed from the mouth when eating and drinking, it lowers the risk of damage and the associated stress.


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