The Dos and Don’ts of Invisalign

Are Clear Aligners Right For My Teenager?

April 21, 2021

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Teenage years often involve getting braces, and if you are a parent who is looking to give your teenager the perfect smile, you may be wondering what the best type of orthodontic alignment is for your teen. One of the most popular (and most discreet) options in 2021 are clear aligners that help to correct misaligned or crooked teeth. Depending on your teen’s individual circumstances, clear aligners may or may not be the best option and today we’ll look at the factors that contribute to making that decision, so read on to find out more!

Dedication and Responsibility 

Teenagers and responsibility often clash like oil and water, but ensuring that your teenager is reliable and ready to commit to clear aligners is incredibly important. Because clear aligners need to be removed a few times a day (no more than 2-3 hours in total), it is imperative that your teen sticks to their dental schedule and remains prudent in ensuring that they are using their aligners as much as possible. If your teen is one to frequently misplace items or just isn’t that committed to fixing their teeth, then clear aligners may not be the ideal solution. 

Smoking is a No-no! 

Most parents would rather not imagine their children smoking, but when it comes to teenagers, all bets are off. Even if your teen is under the age of 18, it is important that you have an open and frank discussion with them about smoking and its effects on both dental health and the potential to interfere with dental trays themselves.

Removing aligners to smoke on a regular basis may result in clear aligners not being as effective as they could be, so open communication is key. If you aren’t 100% sure if your teen will be able to stay away from tobacco or nicotine, then other options such as metal or ceramic braces may be a better fit (especially when you consider the cost of invisible aligners!) 

Are Clear Aligners Right For My Teenager?

What Is The Extent of Misaligned Teeth?

Another important factor to look into when deicing on clear aligners is the extent or degree of misaligned teeth that need fixing. Clear aligners are effective for issues such as an underbite, overbite, crossbite, gapped and/or overcrowded teeth, but to a certain degree only. If your teen’s misalignment/overcrowding is overly complex or severe, your dentist may have to extract a couple of teeth before invisible aligners can be considered. Depending on individual circumstances, a qualified orthodontist and dentist will be able to navigate through the best and most effective alignment solutions for your teenager. 

Good Oral Hygiene Habits

It would seem pretty obvious that good oral hygiene habits are essential for invisalign candidates, but you’ll be surprised at just how many teenagers neglect their oral health due to laziness, lack of care or poor diet. To be the perfect candidate, your teen will ideally have healthy gums and teeth (free from cavities, decay and gingivitis) and will also have to be able to take care of clear aligner trays to prevent infection down the road. Trays need to be cleaned on a regular basis and any dental health issues will have to be treated prior to being considered for clear aligner treatment. 

A Full Set of Adult Teeth

Last but not least, it is important that your teen has a full set of adult teeth before considering invisible aligners. While most children lose all their baby teeth by age 12, there are some situations in which youngsters can suffer from dental conditions that cause an obstruction in the mouth which may prevent a baby tooth from falling out. If your teen still seems to have baby teeth in, it is incredibly important that you book an appointment with an orthodontist ASAP as this will have to be fixed prior to becoming a candidate for invisible aligners. 

Finding the right dental alignment treatment for your teenager goes beyond just aesthetic appeal. Instead, it is important that parents consider practicality and also consult with an orthodontist when making the decision on whether clear aligners are right for a teenager. We hope that this article has given you some valuable information to consider, and we wish you and your teen all the best!

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