Is Invisalign Teen Right for Your Teenager?

invisalign teen
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
My son needs braces for a mild crowding issue. His dentist thinks that Invisalign Teen is the right way to go. It sounds great, but honestly, I’m not sure my teenager is responsible enough to use it properly. What is your advice?
Sincerely,
Paula H.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Paula,
Invisalign Teen is a great treatment option for many teens. We all know that teens can be self-conscious, and they already may be embarrassed by their smile. Invisalign allows them to straighten their smile invisible, without drawing more attention to their problem. Another great advantage of Invisalign is that it is removable. And for many, especially busy and forgetful teens, that can also be one of its biggest drawbacks.

To be effective, Invisalign must place an almost constant pressure on the teeth. That means, it needs to be worn at least 22 hours each and every day during treatment. The aligners should only be removed to eat, drink, brush and floss. No taking them out for the big dance or date, or just because you don’t want to wear them on a certain day.

Invisalign, and all orthodontic treatment, takes a commitment on the part of the patient. If you don’t think your teen can carry their end of the bargain and commit to wearing the aligners the prescribed amount of time, he could be in treatment much longer than anticipated.

Sincerely,
Dr. S.


Sarah, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
My daughter was recently told she needs braces. Her best friend has been using Invisalign, so of course that’s what my daughter wants, too. We’ve heard raves about it, but I’m skeptical. What are your thoughts?
Sincerely,
Simon T.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Simon,
Invisalign has a great reputation, and we’re seeing more providers using it. It’s important to remember, however, that each case is unique, and each treatment needs to be unique. Invisalign may have been a great treatment option for your daughter’s friend, but that doesn’t mean that it will be the best option for your daughter.

First, it’s important that you are seeing a certified orthodontic specialist for your daughter’s treatment. This will ensure that your daughter is in the best and most capable hands to handle her orthodontic issue, no matter how complicated it may be.

It’s also important to remember that traditional braces aren’t what they used to be. My practice uses high tech, low profile brackets that are sleeker and more comfortable than ever before. We also utilize 3D planning that allows for shorter treatment times, less discomfort and fewer office visits.

When researching orthodontic treatment options, it’s important to look at results, and not just what may be the newest or fanciest option on the market. I get outstanding results in less time using traditional metal braces for many of my patients.
Sincerely,
Dr. S.

Banner image courtesy of: Invisalign.com

AUTHOR: Michael Stosich

Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS, is a specialist orthodontist for children and adults with subspecialty expertise in robotically assisted orthodontics. Dr. Stosich serves as the orthodontic director at the University of Chicago's cleft lip and palate clinic and craniofacial anomalies clinic, which treats complex pediatric craniofacial anomalies.