Grisly horror movies. Five-page term papers. Asking a cheerleader out on a date. None of these things scare a teenager like this single word — braces.
Although it’s not rare by any means (two thirds of U.S. teenagers have some sort of orthodontic treatment), just the thought of the metal bands, the poking wires, the irritation on the lips and cheeks makes most teens cringe. After all, just which age group do you think came up with the term “metal mouth?”
But at Gentle Dental, we don’t want to put our teenage patients through the ordeal of braces unless it’s absolutely necessary. We prefer to give them the clear advantage of Invisalign®!
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.
Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign. The clear aligners are effective in mild to moderate cases of tooth crookedness and spacing issues. Patients with severe bite problems usually still require traditional braces because they can be augmented with other orthodontic appliances such as headgear, enabling them to move teeth to a greater degree.
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 x-rays and impressions are made, software in the Invisalign system creates a 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, retainers are worn to keep them there.
Interested in Invisalign for your teenager? Call us today and ask us about it, (732) 549-5660.