No doubt, having a great-looking smile is a must for a lot of young people. It is one of the major contributors to their self-confidence. This is why teens wearing braces is quite a common sight.
And speaking of braces, they are the best solution to teeth alignment issues, and there are different types to choose from. Traditional metal braces remain to be the most popular option, as they are also the most affordable. However, more and more teens are opting for ceramic or clear, and Invisalign braces.
For those who do not want their teeth correction procedure to be too obvious, clear braces are the way to go. The brackets are not that noticeable. However, they still protrude and are held together by a metal wire. But for those who want the procedure to be completely invisible to others, Invisalign is the perfect choice.
Advantages of Invisalign for Teens
Out of all the braces to choose from, most teens would probably go for Invisalign if money were not a consideration. Not only does Invisalign make teeth alignment correction an invisible procedure, but it also makes it more convenient.
Unlike other braces, Invisalign is removable. Therefore, upholding proper oral hygiene is not as complicated. If you wear Invisalign, you can brush and floss like you usually do.
On top of that, eating is no issue. You do not have to worry about food particles getting stuck on the treatment device. For Invisalign, you are never to wear your aligners while eating.
Preparing for Invisalign
Orthodontists say that like with the other types of braces, specific procedures need to be carried out first prior to Invisalign. These procedures are necessary, especially if the young patients have not been particularly careful with their teeth. Listed below are four of them.
1. Bonding and caps
Chips and broken teeth need to be fixed prior to braces, and this is even more important for Invisalign because the aligners hug the teeth. The application of bonding or caps will ensure a better fit. But, not only that, it can lower the risk of developing cavities during the treatment.
All cavities need to be filled before the fitting for Invisalign. Again, this is to ensure the perfect fit of the aligners. Likewise, taking care of cavities is a must because the teeth movement Invisalign causes can lead to heightened discomfort.
Big cavities, especially, can affect the nerves and the movement of the teeth can automatically send pain signals.
3. Wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom teeth extraction is not only necessary because the teeth are often impacted. It is also a must because ample space is required for misaligned teeth to move into their ideal location.
Another reason why it’s best to have wisdom teeth removed before getting braces, be they traditional ones or Invisalign, is they have no use. Plus, they are just likely to rot over time. Wisdom teeth are located at the farthest end of the mouth and are difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
4. Oral prophylaxis
Teeth cleaning is highly recommended for teeth before getting Invisalign. Dentists need to make sure that there are no calcular deposits that can turn into tartar when placed 22 hours a day under the aligners.
Once all of these procedures have been carried out, dentists stress the importance of upholding proper oral hygiene practices. The young patients’ commitment to following all of the instructions for wearing Invisalign is crucial as well in ensuring optimum efficacy and the best results.
Adjusting to Invisalign
Getting used to wearing Invisalign may actually be a lot easier than with traditional braces with brackets and wires. The fact that the aligners are moulded to the teeth makes a huge difference in the way the mouth feels. They are not as obstructive and do not alter the shape of the mouth too much.
But, there are still some discomforts to prepare for. One of the common things that teens complain about is the difficulty with speaking when wearing the aligners. Lisping and slobbering happen, especially when wearing a fresh set of aligners.
Speech difficulty is not all. There’s also this pain during the first few days of using new aligners. Teeth hurt while wearing the aligners, but oddly, even more so when they are removed for meals or brushing. A lot of teens say it’s no fun every time they need to switch to a new pair of aligners. It’s not just their teeth that hurt, their entire face does.
In dealing with such common discomforts, orthodontists have the following remedies:
- If the pain renders you useless, take a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or even naproxen sodium.
- Adjust to new aligners better by wearing them before going to bed. Sleeping with a fresh set of aligners on will have your more used to them in the morning. If you have school the following day, you will find the discomfort more bearable.
- Use a cold compress to numb the soreness of the gums and teeth. Apply the compress on your cheeks and lips for about 10 minutes every time you feel throbbing pain.
- Stick to a soft diet when the aligners are new. Consume mashed food and soups – basically, baby food that does not require a lot of chewing.
- Make sure to wear your new aligners for at least 20 hours. Wearing them for as long as possible will get you used to the feeling. You will find that speaking would feel more comfortable as well. Best of all, it will make the treatment even more effective.
Wearing Invisalign Requires Discipline
Invisalign is a highly effective treatment despite being more aesthetic and convenient to use. But, for young people who want it to correct their teeth alignment, it is important to emphasize the discipline required to ensure efficacy.
There are only three important rules to uphold anyway. One, practice good oral hygiene. Two, wear the aligner trays for at least 20 hours a day. And three, switch to new aligners as recommended by the orthodontist. These should not be too hard.
Otherwise, the treatment can take longer, and it can become even more expensive because additional trays may be necessary to shift teeth into their proper place.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.