When it comes to orthodontic treatments, the two most popular ways to improve your smile are traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Over the past few years, Invisalign has become even more popular thanks to the Invisalign Teen option. This additional product makes it easier for teenagers to experience the benefits of clear aligners over traditional braces, while eliminating some of the concerns. What are the key differences between traditional Invisalign clear aligners and Invisalign Teen?
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces. The system consists of a progression of clear aligners that are fit specifically for each patient. Invisalign can be used to eliminate a broad range of cosmetic concerns and bite issues, including mild underbites and gapped teeth. While Invisalign has been used in adults and teenagers for many years, the Teen line has additional features designed to make it easier to tell whether or not teenagers are being compliant.
Compared with traditional braces, Invisalign treatment typically takes less time. Depending on the severity of your orthodontic issues, you might be done with treatment in as little as 10 months. Just like braces, all Invisalign treatment is performed with the help of a dentist or orthodontist.
How Are Invisalign and Invisalign Teen Different?
Both Invisalign and Invisalign Teen use the same basic mechanism to move your teeth into a new position. Each program also includes clear aligner trays that are worn in the mouth to progress your teeth to the final position. However, there are a few different changes that make it easier to improve compliance with teens and still ensure a great result.
One of these features is the dot placed on the back of each clear aligner tray. These dots are printed with a unique material that will disappear after a certain number of hours of wear time. By examining these dots, an orthodontist can quickly see whether or not your teenager has been wearing their aligners for 22+ hours a day. The dots on the aligner trays start out blue and will fade away to become clear or white. These dots are not present on adult trays.
Why is the dot feature important? Switching from one tray to another too quickly can lead to pain, discomfort, and poor treatment outcomes. The dot on Invisalign Teen trays is the simplest way to ensure compliance and potentially delay the next set of aligner trays.
Another difference between Invisalign and Invisalign Teen is how many trays your treatment will include. Because teenagers are more prone to losing trays or having them damaged, there are a certain number of extra trays built into the Invisalign Teen program. This reduces stress and costs for parents.
Invisalign Teen Is Made to Grow With You
Traditional Invisalign trays are made for adults, which means that the trays and treatment progressions assume the person wearing them has a mouth full of adult teeth. Invisalign Teen acknowledges that teenagers go through changes as they age, and those changes can include the jaw and mouth. If your child still has teeth that are emerging, their Invisalign treatment can factor that in and guide the new teeth into the optimal place.
In some cases, your child’s orthodontic health might be better suited to traditional braces. Their dentist can assess the condition of their teeth, any challenges that are present, and the new teeth that are growing in to determine which is best for them. In some cases, traditional Invisalign could even be a better fit!
What Orthodontic Issues Can Be Reversed With Invisalign Teen?
Invisalign and the Invisalign Teen program can both be utilized to fix many different orthodontic problems. What are some of the most common reasons why teenagers start their orthodontic treatment with Invisalign Teen?
- Crowding, which occurs when there is not currently enough space in the mouth to accommodate all of the teeth that are present or that are growing in
- Relapse, where your teenager may have had orthodontic treatment as a child and failed to wear their retainer so the teeth returned to their previous position
- Crossbite, where the upper and lower jaws are not meeting properly so the bite is not correct or comfortable
- Overbite or underbite, where the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth or the lower teeth are out further than the upper teeth
- Gapping, or excessive space between teeth in the mouth
Invisalign Teen can be used to solve these problems. Contact us today to learn more about your options.