Parenting a teenager is a tough job at any period in history, and modern times seem especially demanding. But that’s not always a bad thing. For one thing, we now have a better appreciation for the less obvious challenges our children will face. This way, we can help them develop the skills and strengths necessary to conquer a whole array of challenges.
For example, most parents would agree that we want our kids to be safe and healthy. But these days, we are as concerned about their mental health as we are about their physical health, with a better understanding of their relationships. In a 2020 Scripps survey, parents’ concern over their teenager’s nutritional health topped the list, while mental health, anxiety, and depression were among our top three concerns.
So when considering our children’s dental health, we may better grasp how a beautiful smile impacts their well-being. At Gibson Dental, we offer dental services that aim to treat your child as a whole person. This is why we utilize Invisalign clear aligners for orthodontic treatments because we know that they can positively impact multiple health levels; oral, mental, and physical.
How Invisalign Improves Overall Well-Being
While the goal of orthodontic treatments is to reposition teeth, clear aligners work in a much different manner compared to conventional braces. Instead of metal brackets cemented to your teeth and connected with wires and bands, Invisalign uses a series of transparent plastic aligners which gently nudge your teeth progressively into their desired position and alignment.
Clear aligner trays offer a considerable advantage where nutrition is concerned because your child may remove them when eating. This means that choosing Invisalign won’t require dietary changes – your family can continue to eat all the healthy foods without braces getting in the way.
The mental health benefits are also clear, literally. Because your aligner trays are made from a transparent material with a tight fit, they are much less noticeable than a mouthful of metal wires and brackets.
Other Reasons to Choose Invisalign
Appearance and functionality are two of the top benefits of clear aligners versus conventional braces, but many other advantages are also considerable, especially for your teen. Here are a few:
- More comfortable – the metal portions in traditional braces are known to rub at specific points in your mouth, especially inside the lips and cheeks. Clear aligners are smooth and softer than metal, so they cause less irritation.
- Easier to brush and floss – because your child’s trays are removable, they don’t interfere with brushing and flossing at all.
- Fewer dentist visits for maintenance – a common requirement for conventional braces are monthly visits so your dentist can tighten wires and bands, with emergency visits necessary in the case of broken wires or brackets. However, depending on your treatment plan, you may only visit our dental office every three to six months, saving time and money.
How Young Can You Start Invisalign Therapy?
While many children follow a standard development pattern, their individual growth may vary widely. This includes the growth of their smile. When our dentists have treated your child’s baby teeth, we may see emerging issues that we may help you address with early orthodontic treatments, commonly called Phase 1.
One condition that might spur us to recommend Phase 1 treatment is if it appears your child’s mouth lacks room for their permanent teeth, which may cause them to come in crooked or overlapped. In many cases, it makes more sense to try and resolve issues like a narrow dental arch early rather than correcting them later.
To treat youngsters between 6 and 10, we can provide special Invisalign First aligners that can help with the following:
- Teeth gaps
- Tight spacing
- Misalignments caused by thumb sucking or thrusting
Invisalign Guidelines for Teenagers
If our experienced Invisalign dentists determine that your child is a good candidate for Invisalign therapy, we will create a comprehensive treatment plan that fits their unique smile.
Once we’ve chosen a path that meets your smile goals, we can break it down into predictable steps, which means we can give you a good determination for how long treatment will take. To stay on track, you’ll want to ensure the following:
- Your child wears their aligner 20-22 hours per day – don’t let their trays' removability delay treatment results.
- Change trays after around 14 days – your child’s aligners work in a particular order with the benefit of having a completely new tray every two weeks.
- Rinse and soak your child’s aligners as recommended – bacteria and other accumulations can discolor the aligners or compromise their fit.
One way to help keep your teen on their treatment plan is that they can see their teeth move into their new positions first-hand. This helps motivate them to stay faithful, wearing and caring for their Invisalign aligners as directed.
A Retainer Supports Your Aligned Smile Long-Term
Once your child has completed their Invisalign treatment process, resulting in the smile they’ve been visualizing since treatment began, it's important to note that you’ll want to safeguard their new smile. To prevent teeth from slipping back into their old positions, our dentists may recommend a retainer to maintain their new alignments.
We will use our experience and expertise to determine the best retainer type as well as how long your teenager should wear it, both daily and over time. We offer retainers personally made for your child, comfortable and also invisible. Our goal is to make their smile look its best for a lifetime.
Invisible Braces by Invisalign for Teens in Madison, AL
The Gibson Dental team’s goal is for your family to enjoy good oral health and a smile everyone can be proud of. For straighter teeth, Invisalign offers a system for adolescents and teens tailored to their unique needs. To learn more, we encourage you to call our dental office and schedule a consultation today.