Thanks to improved techniques and innovative technology, modern orthodontics have made tremendous strides in recent years. Traditional braces are now far more comfortable and less conspicuous than they have ever been, but today’s teens are more visible than any generation before them. Most have multiple social media accounts and sharing frequent selfies is practically a rite of passage at this point!
However normal this is nowadays, sharing so much so often can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, particularly if a teen feels that their smile is less than perfect. Here at Kaplan Orthodontics, it is easy for us to see the unique inner and outer beauty of every patient we treat, but we also know how good it feels to have a smile that is beautifully aligned and fully functional. Invisalign Teen is one way we can help our teen patients achieve that kind of smile, and offers a nearly invisible way to get there!
Orthodontic treatment also has benefits that go beyond improving the cosmetic appearance. Having a badly aligned bite or misaligned jaw can lead to other issues like headaches and pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders, as well as teeth-grinding, gum disease, and general inflammation in the mouth. Treatment with Invisalign Teen results in not only a straighter, more aligned smile, but an optimized bite pattern as well, making teeth more attractive, easier to keep clean, and functioning optimally.
Want to know more about what makes the Invisalign Teen system such a great choice for our teen patients? Let us take a look at what it is is all about, and the multiple benefits it has to offer.
What is Invisalign Teen? How does it differ from Invisalign?
Invisalign Teen and Invisalign both use a series of clear, custom-made aligners to straighten teeth gradually without the restrictions that can come with traditional braces. Rather than rely on wires, brackets, and bands to move teeth, teens simply wear the aligners over their teeth and change them out for a new set weekly. Instead of wires and brackets, Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners. The teeth will gradually shift into a more optimal position, leaving teens with a straight, confident smile they are proud to share with the world!
Although Invisalign and Invisalign Teen work the same way when it comes to the benefits and the underlying technology, Invisalign Teen was developed with input from leading orthodontists on the unique needs of teen patients. Some of the special features that are specific to the Invisalign Teen system are:
Patient compliance is the single biggest factor in successful treatment with Invisalign. It is critical that patients work with Dr. Kaplan’s recommendations to ensure the orthodontic process stays on track. In order for Invisalign to be effective, patients must wear their aligners 20-22 hours per day as directed. Invisalign Teen has a compliance indicator incorporated into each aligner that will fade from blue to clear as it is used, providing a visual approximation of wear. This lets parents (and orthodontists!) keep track of patient use. If a teen is not holding up their end of the treatment bargain, it will be noticeable in enough time to correct compliance, keeping the overall process on track.
This feature accommodates the growth of the second molars in young adults, helping to keep space open for unerupted teeth and making it possible to treat a wider range of conditions with Invisalign.
Sometimes, life just happens. There is not one of us who has not lost or damaged something important to us before! Although we encourage every Invisalign patient to treat their aligners with care, there is no need to worry if one is misplaced or incurs damage. Invisalign Teen provides up to six replacement aligners at no charge, just in case!
Invisalign Teen is as effective as traditional braces
Invisalign is at its most effective when treating mild to moderate cases of underbite, overbite, overcrowding and gapped teeth. As long as patients are vigilant about wearing their aligners the recommended 20-22 hours a day, Invisalign Teen can be just as effective as traditional braces for many of the most common orthodontic issues. Although not every teen is a candidate for Invisalign, most will be. Kaplan Orthodontics offers a complimentary initial consultation that can determine eligibility for this particular treatment.
Invisalign Teen offers extra flexibility
In spite of the major improvements to traditional braces over the years, they do still take a little getting used to. Food restrictions can often be on the steepest learning curves with braces. Patients must avoid anything sticky or chewy, and steer clear of common treats like popcorn, nuts, chips, and even some raw fruits and veggies. The Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed at mealtimes, so teens are free to enjoy all the same foods they normally would, as long as they maintain a good dental hygiene routine. Even with removable aligners, it is important to brush and floss regularly and carefully, to keep food and bacteria from accumulating against and in between the teeth.
Food is not the only area of flexibility with Invisalign Teen. Contact sports can sometimes be rough if an athlete is in braces since the brackets and wires can break or come loose, causing irritation or pain. With Invisalign, teens can remove the aligners and wear a regular mouthguard, putting the aligner back in after practice or the game. Have a budding musician? Traditional braces can get in the way of playing some musical instruments, but the removable nature of Invisalign aligners allow for uninterrupted music making.
BONUS: they can also be removed for any of those all-important occasions when a teen only wants their natural smile to shine through, such as homecoming, prom, and senior pictures.
Invisalign Teen can increase self-confidence
Studies have shown that parents often underestimate the extent to which teens feel self-conscious about crooked teeth, or other dental issues. When we are dealing with adult concerns, it can be easy to forget the things that make being a teenager so hard! While traditional braces are an excellent long-term solution for correcting issues and straightening teeth, they run the risk of potentially making insecurities worse in the short-term, particularly for kids who worry that braces will make them “stand out” until treatment is complete. Because Invisalign Teen aligners are almost invisible, no one even needs to know a teen is straightening their teeth, removing what can be a very real source of stress for them.
Invisalign Teen means less time in the office
Patients in Invisalign Teen aligners will often require less frequent maintenance visits and emergency visits, since there are no adjustments to make and no wires or brackets that can be broken and require repair. This can be a real benefit to parents, especially, since today’s families are often busier than ever before! After the initial appointment, follow-up appointments will usually be scheduled for every six to ten weeks.
Invisalign Teen comes in at a similar cost
When discussing alternatives to braces, many parents worry that they will be more expensive. However, Invisalign Teen costs just about the same as traditional braces. Kaplan Orthodontics is dedicated to offering our patients affordable treatment, be it traditional braces, Invisalign Teen, or anything in between. We offer multiple payment plan options, and many dental insurance policies will cover Invisalign Teen orthodontic treatment. As a courtesy to you, we will be happy to verify your benefits and file the necessary paperwork required by your insurance company. We also allow insurance companies to pay the benefits directly to our office, reducing your overall out-of-pocket expenses. We also partner with CareCredit to offer low or no interest third-party financing options and accept payments by Visa, Discover, Mastercard and American Express.
Invisalign Teen is the clear winner with Kaplan Orthodontics
Invisalign Teen is designed for patients who have lost all their baby teeth, and whose second molars are at least partially erupted. If you are in the Dunwoody or surrounding area and have a teen you believe may benefit from this innovative orthodontic treatment, get in touch today to explore what Invisalign Teen has to offer you and your family! Dr. Kaplan and each hand-selected member of our team are enthusiastic about providing an extraordinary orthodontic experience for every patient we see. Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation and let us get your teen on the path to a beautiful, healthy smile!