What Should Parents Know About Clear Aligners For Teens?

As a parent, everyone wants the best for their child, including a healthy, beautiful smile. If your teen requires orthodontic treatment, you may consider clear aligners as an alternative to traditional metal braces. At Szymanowski Orthodontics, we understand that making decisions about your child’s dental health can be overwhelming. Let’s discuss what parents should know about clear aligners for teens to help you make an informed decision.

How to Know If Your Child is Ready for Clear Aligners

Clear aligners like Invisalign have become increasingly popular among teens due to their discreet appearance and comfort. However, not every teen is a suitable candidate for this treatment. To determine if your child is ready for clear aligners, consider the following factors:

  • Responsibility: Clear aligners require a high level of responsibility and compliance. Your teen must wear the aligners for approximately 20-22 hours daily, removing them only for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene. Traditional braces may be a better option if your child is forgetful or lacks the discipline to follow the treatment plan.
  • Severity of misalignment: Clear aligners are most effective for mild to moderate cases of misalignment. Traditional braces may be necessary to achieve the desired results if your teen has severe crowding, large gaps, or difficult bite issues.
  • Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. If your teen struggles with brushing and flossing regularly, clear aligners may not be the best choice, as they require thorough cleaning before reinsertion.
  • Maturity: Your child should be mature enough to understand the importance of following the treatment plan and attending regular check-ups with Dr. Damon.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Clear Aligners?

If your teen requires orthodontic treatment and you choose not to pursue clear aligners or any other form of treatment, there can be several possible consequences:

  • Worsening of misalignment: Orthodontic issues rarely self-correct and can worsen over time. Delaying treatment may lead to more severe misalignment, requiring longer and more challenging treatment in the future.
  • Oral health problems: Misaligned teeth can be more difficult to clean, increasing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Untreated orthodontic issues can also lead to uneven wear on teeth and jaw pain.
  • Self-esteem issues: A misaligned smile can negatively impact your teen’s self-confidence and self-esteem, affecting their social interactions and overall well-being.
  • Difficulty with speech and eating: Severe misalignment can cause difficulties with speech and eating, leading to frustration and embarrassment.

What Should Parents Know About Clear Aligners For Teens?

Tips to Help Teens Maintain Their Aligners

Maintaining clear aligners is crucial for the success of the treatment. Here are some tips from Szymanowski Orthodontics to help your teen keep their aligners in top condition:

  • Store aligners in a protective case when not in use
  • Rinse aligners with cool water before reinserting them
  • Brush aligners gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
  • Avoid exposing aligners to hot water or leaving them in direct sunlight
  • Remove aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water
  • Clean teeth thoroughly before reinserting aligners

Is There a Special Diet to Follow?

One of the benefits of clear aligners is that there are no strict dietary restrictions. Your teen can continue to enjoy their favorite foods, as long as they remove the aligners before eating and clean their teeth before reinserting them. However, avoiding consuming sugary and acidic beverages while wearing aligners is essential, as these can lead to tooth decay and staining of the aligners.

How Long Do They Have to Stay On?

The length of clear aligner treatment will depend on the severity of misalignment and individual factors. Treatment typically lasts 6 to 18 months, with most teens wearing aligners for about a year. After the initial treatment phase, your teen will need to wear a retainer to maintain the new position of their teeth. The length of time for retainer wear will be determined by Dr. Damon.

What Should Parents Know About Clear Aligners For Teens?

Schedule Your Teen’s Clear Aligner Consultation Today!

Clear aligners offer a discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces for teens seeking orthodontic treatment. As a parent, it’s important to understand the factors determining if your child is a suitable candidate for clear aligners, the consequences of forgoing treatment, and the importance of properly maintaining the aligners. 

Dr. Damon and our team are dedicated to helping you and your teen achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Don’t wait to give your teen the gift of a healthy, beautiful smile. Contact Szymanowski Orthodontics today to schedule a clear aligner consultation and take the first step towards a confident, lifelong smile!