Invisalign For Teens: Is It A Good Option? How To Tell

Teenagers who need braces may be able to wear traditional braces with metal brackets and arch wires, or they can wear Invisalign for Teens. The latter is a type of invisible orthodontia that pops in and out, but still manages to realign your teen's teeth. Since most teens would prefer this option, it may be something you want to consider. However, before you tell the orthodontist to go ahead with invisible, removable, plastic braces, ask yourself the following questions.

Will the Teenager Remember to Wear Them Consistently?

In order for these braces to work, they have to be worn consistently. Leaving them out for a day to a week or more undoes all the work the current and previous sets of invisible braces. Then your orthodontist has to start from scratch to make a new set, since some of the teeth will be in a slightly different position than when these braces were started.

Will the Teenager Be Responsible Enough Not to Lose or Break the Invisible Braces?

Some teenagers are emotionally mature enough that you can trust them with just about anything. Others you can trust some of the time, and the last group of teens are not nearly mature enough for anything. You will have to carefully assess your teen for emotional maturity and responsibility to decide if invisible braces are a good choice for him/her. If you know for a fact that your teenager will never lose or break these orthodontic appliances, then go for it.

How Well and Often Does the Teenager Brush His/Her Teeth?

As with any orthodontic appliance, there are trade-offs. While your teenager never reveals that he/she is wearing braces with the invisible aligners, he/she does have to remove them to eat, and then brush consistently after meals and snacks before putting the aligners back into his/her mouth.

If good oral hygiene habits are lacking in your teen, then traditional braces are a better option because it will get your teen to brush more often. Clearly, he/she would not want to go around with chunks of food in his/her braces. Ergo, metal braces force him/her to brush more, not less.

Does Your Teen Grind His/Her Teeth?

Finally, does your teen grind his or her teeth? This is known as bruxism. It happens more often when a person is sleeping, but it can happen when someone is awake and accustomed to grinding his/her teeth. Since braces like Invisalign for Teens are not mouthguards, and they can break, the thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch applied to the braces may cause them to snap. If there is a remote chance that your teen grinds his/her teeth, traditional braces may be the better option.

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