Young girl with clear aligner

Invisalign For Teens

Posted on November 30, 2018 by Dr. Damon Szymanowski.

When you take a look at any social media platform, it’s clear that today’s teens are more visible than any generation before them. Many have multiple accounts and post frequent selfies, but however normal this is in our current culture, so much sharing can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. This is especially true if a teen feels that their smile is anything less than perfect!  Fortunately, orthodontic techniques and technology have seen huge improvements in recent years, but some teens still worry about the impact traditional braces could have on their appearance and lifestyle.

Here at Szymanowski Orthodontics, we see the unique inner and outer beauty of every patient we treat, but we also know how good it feels when you have a smile you’re proud of! Invisalign Teen is one way we can help our teen patients achieve a beautifully aligned smile that is fully functional, and it’s a nearly invisible way to get there.

Did you know that orthodontic treatment has benefits that go beyond improving the cosmetic appearance? Patients who have a badly aligned bite or misaligned jaw can also suffer from other issues that may appear unrelated. This can include headaches and pain in the jaw and neck, plus an `increased risk for teeth-grinding, gum disease, and general inflammation in the mouth. Treatment with Invisalign aligners does more than give teens a straighter smile – it optimizes their bite pattern as well, making teeth easier to clean, functioning better, and more attractive overall.

Interested in hearing more about what makes the Invisalign Teen system such a great choice for our teen patients? Keep reading to learn what it’s all about, and the multiple benefits it has to offer your teen!

What is Invisalign Teen? How does it differ from Invisalign?

The Invisalign system as a whole uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to straighten teeth gradually. Instead of using wires, brackets, and bands to move the teeth, the removable aligners cover the patient’s teeth comfortably teeth and are switched out for a new series every 1-2 weeks. The teeth will gradually shift into the desired positions, leaving teens with a straight smile they’re ready to show off to the world!

Although Invisalign and Invisalign Teen work the same way when it comes to their underlying technology, Invisalign Teen was developed with the unique needs of teen patients in mind. There are a few special features that are specific to the Invisalign Teen system.

Compliance indicators

The single biggest factor in successful treatment with either Invisalign system is patient compliance. In order for the aligners to be effective, patients must wear them 20-22 hours per day as directed. To help teens keep up, Invisalign Teen has a compliance indicator incorporated into each aligner that fades 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 skipping out on hours, it will be noticeable in enough time to correct compliance, thus keeping the overall process on track.

Eruption tabs

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.

Replacement aligners

Things just happen sometimes, and there’s not one of us who hasn’t lost or damaged something important to us before. We encourage all of our Invisalign patients to treat their aligners with care, but you don’t need to worry if your teen misplaces or damages one. Invisalign Teen anticipates that, and provides up to six replacement aligners at no charge!   

Invisalign Teen can be as effective as traditional braces

Invisalign is most effective at treating mild to moderate cases of many of the most common orthodontic issues, including underbite, overbite, overcrowding, and gapped teeth. As long as patients wear their aligners the recommended 20-22 hours a day, Invisalign Teen results can be just as successful as traditional braces. Although not every teen is a candidate for Invisalign, most will be. Our Sacramento office offers a complimentary initial consultation that can determine a patient’s eligibility for this treatment option.

Invisalign

Invisalign Teen is a flexible orthodontic option

Even though traditional braces have improved in leaps and bounds, they still take some getting used to. Food restrictions are often one of the steepest learning curves to come with braces. To protect the brackets and wires, braces patients must steer clear of anything sticky or chewy, which means avoiding many popular treats like popcorn, nuts, chips, and even some raw fruits and veggies. Invisalign Teen aligners are designed to be removed at mealtimes, so teens can still enjoy all their favorite foods! Even with removable aligners, however, it’s important for your teen to brush and floss regularly and carefully. This keeps food and bacteria from accumulating against and in between the teeth. 

Food isn’t the only area where the flexibility of Invisalign comes in handy. Contact sports can sometimes be rough if an athlete is in braces. Brackets and wires can break or come loose, causing irritation or pain, but with Invisalign, teens can remove the aligners and wear a regular mouthguard during practice or the big game. As an added bonus, aligners can also be removed for special events like homecoming, prom, senior pictures, or any occasion when a teen wants nothing but their natural smile to shine!

Invisalign Teen takes less time out of your schedule

These days, families tend to be busier than ever before, so it helps that Invisalign patients will require less frequent maintenance visits and emergency visits, since there are no adjustments to make and no wires or brackets to break. After your teen’s initial appointment, follow-up appointments at our Sacramento office are usually scheduled for every 6-10 weeks or so.

Invisalign Teen costs about the same as braces

Many parents worry that an alternative to traditional treatment will be more expensive. However, Invisalign Teen costs just about the same as braces. Szymanowski Orthodontics knows that orthodontic treatment is a sizable investment, and we’re committed to providing our patients with exceptional treatment that fits every budget. To this end, we offer:

  • interest-free financial payment plans throughout treatment
  • no-down payment, third party financing from CareCredit
  • automatic credit card or bank draft payments through OrthoBanc
  • convenient online credit card payments

During your initial consultation, we will also review any orthodontic insurance coverage you have and explain your benefits to you. Once treatment begins, we can submit and file your insurance claim on your behalf to make sure your benefits are maximized.

Young blonde lady with Invisalign

Invisalign Teen is a clear winner with Szymanowski Orthodontics

The Invisalign Teen system is designed for patients who have lost all their baby teeth, and whose second molars are at least partially erupted. If your family is in the Sacramento area and you have a teen that could benefit from this innovative orthodontic treatment, get in touch today! We’ll be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation and provide more information on what  Invisalign Teen has to offer your teen.