Most of us are already familiar with the Invisalign system – it’s a series of alignment trays designed to gradually straighten one’s smile without all the hassle and discomfort of ordinary metal braces. Something not everybody may be familiar with, however is Invisalign Teen, a treatment plan designed specifically with kids in mind. It is a safe, subtle alternative to traditional braces that will have your teen’s smile dazzling brighter than ever.
You may be wondering if your child is an eligible candidate for treatment with Invisalign. With braces, after all, come a litany of rules and restrictions set in place to both protect the braces themselves and also keep your progress on track. The good news about Invisalign is that the trays are fully removable and will not force the patient to choose between the life they previously enjoyed and the smile of their dreams. Participation in contact sports is allowed as the patient is able to simply remove the retainers while on the field, and little to no varieties of food or drink are off limits for the same reason. With that being said, however, the aligner trays do in fact need to be worn at least 22 hours a day to keep the patient moving toward their end goal at an appropriate pace.
Putting lifestyle and habitual factors aside, there are certain responsibilities your teen must be willing and capable of taking on in order to ensure their success with the program. Proper maintenance is an absolute must: the retainers must be removed for all eating, drinking, and activities where they may become damaged. They must be cleaned thoroughly, preferably as often as the patient brushes his or her teeth; you will be given a full run-down on proper aligner care in the home. One unique aspect of the teen program is that each aligner comes outfitted with a blue indicator strip that tracks usage physically and allows our orthodontist to make sure the retainers are being used properly. Ideally, your teen must be responsible enough to both make a commitment to making time for all the appointments and evaluations necessary for success and also to keep track of their aligners and take care not to lose them, as any lapses in treatment can potentially set them back.