For teens, how they look is important. They put much thought into what they wear and how they style their hair when they go to school or go out with their friends. Their smile plays an integral role in their appearance. Crooked teeth can significantly impact their overall appearance. For decades, the solution for crooked teeth has been metal braces. While effective, metal braces are highly visible. For many teens, wearing metal braces can be very embarrassing. At First Impressions Orthodontics for Children & Adults, we can provide you with a much more discreet alternative with clear aligners.
Disadvantages of Metal Braces
While metal braces are a highly effective treatment, they are also very visible. The metal brackets and wires stand out quite obviously against the natural whiteness of the teeth. For many teens, a shiny metal smile can be more embarrassing than having crooked teeth. Metal braces can cause discomfort. The metal brackets can rub against your intraoral tissues, which can lead to painful sores. Braces also limit what foods your teen can eat. They may not be able to enjoy many of their favorite foods, which can be a bit embarrassing when they are hanging out with their friends.
What are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment. This treatment uses clear plastic aligners, instead of brackets and wires. The aligners are made from impressions of the mouth, which are then worn over the teeth much like a whitening tray or mouthguard. The plastic is rigid and works to move and stabilize your teeth. When placed in their mouth, the aligners practically disappear from view. No one will be able to tell that your teen is wearing them.
In addition to being clear, aligners are removable. Unlike traditional braces, which are fixed into place, your teen can take the aligners out when necessary. However, it is recommended that they wear their aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day for the best results. The aligners should only be removed to eat and so that they can brush and floss their teeth.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
Before your teen receives their aligners, digital impressions are taken of their mouth. These impressions allow us to custom create aligners to fit perfectly within their mouth and provide them with the best possible results. With digital impressions, we can see every step of the process, and your teen can see what their new smile will look like before treatment even begins.
Treatment involves the use of a series of aligners. Each set of aligners is made to be worn for two weeks at a time. After two weeks, your teen will switch to the next set. This helps to gradually guide their teeth into proper alignment. Following their treatment schedule is essential for ensuring that their teeth move properly and that they achieve their desired results in the shortest amount of time. Treatment times vary from patient to patient. Once your teen has achieved their new smile, they are provided with a retainer to help maintain their results.
What Benefits Do Clear Aligners Offer?
There are many benefits associated with clear aligners. These benefits include:
- Completely invisible treatment.
- Greater comfort.
- Aligners are removable. Your teen can eat all of their favorite foods as well as brush and floss their teeth normally.
- Fewer office visits. This means fewer disruptions in their, and your, busy schedule.
- Treatment times with clear aligners are typically shorter than with traditional braces.
Clear aligners offer an invisible way to straighten teeth. Your teen has a much more discreet way to improve their smile and their oral health. For more information, and to find out if your teen is a candidate for clear aligners, call First Impressions Orthodontics for Children & Adults at (203) 292-9595 to schedule an appointment today.