When you see a group of teens in Papaianni Park or at Bovine Burgers, it seems just about every one has braces. This can’t be, right? Actually, it can. In the U.S. over two thirds of teenagers will have some sort of orthodontic treatment.
Since the majority of teens have it, you’d think braces wouldn’t be such a stigma, yet they still are. No teen wants to have a metal mouth. But straightening crooked teeth, closing gaps, and moving out of place bicuspids isn’t easy work. It has required metal bands connected by metal wires, with a good dose of rubber bands to add force where needed to move teeth traditionally.
While we’re all about certain traditions here at Gentle Dental, we’d just as soon see the “metal mouth” tradition go the way of Columbus Day. Instead of metal orthodontics, we now use Invisalign for most of our patients who need mild to moderate orthodontic movement.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the latest technology in teeth straightening, utilizing clear plastic aligners in place of the traditional metal brackets and wires. The Invisalign system uses a series of custom-made aligners. Each aligner is designed by computer to move the teeth a certain amount and is worn for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks that aligner’s job is finished and the next aligner takes its place. This procedure is repeated until the teeth are in the proper position.
What are the advantages of Invisalign?
Obviously, the biggest advantage is visual. With Invisalign most people can’t even tell the person is having his or her teeth straightened because the aligners are clear plastic and virtually invisible.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign won’t irritate the cheeks and lips. There are no stray wires to unexpectedly poke the cheeks or tongue.
And hygiene is much easier with Invisalign. The wearer simply removes the aligner to eat, and brush or floss. No need for floss threaders and the like, and there’s no chance of getting food caught in the brackets.
How does it work?
After digital images are taken, our cutting edge 3D computer imaging system creates an incredibly detailed 3D image of the patient’s teeth. This image guides the creation of each successive aligner. Each aligner is worn for two weeks and then is replaced by the next aligner in the series. When the teeth are into their correct, final position, special Invisalign-like retainers are worn to keep them there.
Interested in helping your teenager keep his or her self-image while still straightening their teeth? Call us at Gentle Dental, (732) 549-5660 to schedule a consultation to see if Invisalign is right for them.