It’s tough to feel confident with a mouthful of metal, especially during your teenage years. Fortunately, there’s a better way to straighten your smile these days that’s discrete and more comfortable. We’re talking about Invisalign®. Unlike traditional braces, the Invisalign system skips the metal altogether and relies on clear, removable aligners.
At Healthy Smile Dental in Woodridge, Illinois, Dr. Hannah Baek understands how teenage patients feel about braces. She’s proud to offer Invisalign as a more convenient and less conspicuous alternative so they can avoid becoming the dreaded “metal mouth.” Here’s what you need to know why more teenagers are opting for the clear choice.
Invisalign is a type of orthodontia that uses removable, clear aligners — flexible plastic trays — instead of metal wires and brackets to shift teeth into place. The patented thermoplastic, called SmartTrack®, creates an aligner that’s incredibly light but strong enough to apply a gentle pressure on the teeth.
When using Invisalign, you replace your trays every two weeks or so with new ones that bring you closer to your finished result. As you progress through your trays, each one feels slightly tighter than the last as they continue applying pressure on your teeth to move to their ideal locations.
One of the things both teens and adults love about Invisalign is that you can remove them, unlike braces which stay in place for the entire treatment period. However, for the best results, you must wear your aligner trays for 20-22 hours a day. That means you can take them out to eat and drink as well as when you brush, floss, and clean the trays.
On top of the convenience that comes with Invisalign, the aligners are also practically invisible. The result? No one will notice that you’re wearing them out in public, and that’s an added bonus when considering a teen’s self-confidence.
It’s no wonder over 13 million people, 3 million of them teens, have used Invisalign to transform their smiles so far.
Invisalign can treat most mild to moderate alignment issues, including:
When your top teeth overlap your bottom ones too much, you have an overbite, or a “deep bite.” This alignment problem can create issues like jaw pain and excessive tooth wear.
If your top teeth rest behind your bottom teeth, it’s referred to as an underbite. This issue makes it difficult for you to chew properly and speak clearly. It can also leave your teeth more prone to wear.
Crossbites describe a mouth with areas of overbite and underbite. This alignment problem can lead to teeth chipping and wear. In some cases, your gums can also start to recede or you can develop tooth marks in your gums where they press into the tissue. Crossbites can lead to painful gums and even bone loss.
Crowding may not seem like a big deal, but it makes it harder for you to brush and floss thoroughly. That leaves you susceptible to bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup that, over time, can increase your chances of tooth decay and gum disease.
Even getting the Invisalign aligners is ideal for a teen with a short attention span. At Healthy Smile Dental, we use Invisalign’s iTero Element® scanner. This 3D digital imaging device quickly and painlessly makes an accurate model of your teeth and gums to develop a detailed treatment plan for you.
Dr. Baek can even show your teen how their teeth will move over time, and the software gives you a sneak peek at what their smile will look like when they’ve finished the treatment.
Once the Invisalign lab sends your teen’s customized aligners to Healthy Smile Dental, you return for a fitting session, and they’re ready to start straightening! Dr. Baek monitors your teen’s progress periodically to ensure everything is going to plan.
Do you have a teen who needs orthodontic work? Give the Healthy Smile Dental office a call at 630-910-1900 to set up an Invisalign consultation, or book an appointment online. We’re here to help teens and adults feel confident in their smiles.