Orthodontics is a rite of passage for many teenagers who want to correct issues with misaligned teeth or jaws. Orthodontic problems can affect someone's ability to eat and speak normally and increase their risk of dental injuries, as well as impacting on their appearance.
Traditional orthodontic treatment involves fixing metal braces to the teeth followed by a retainer, but some teenagers don't like the idea of braces. If this is the case, ask your dentist or orthodontist if they offer alternative treatments such as Invisalign® Teen 'invisible' aligners.
Orthodontic treatment usually begins in the early teens, from the ages of 11 to 13. By this time, all of the permanent teeth should have come through, but the teeth and jaws are still growing and easier to move into their desired position.
Depending on your child's individual clinical needs, orthodontics can sometimes start earlier in childhood, around the age of 8 or 9. Many older teenagers and adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment, although treatment outcomes may be less reliable compared to younger teens.
While clear aligners aren't strictly 'invisible,' they are less noticeable in the mouth than metal braces. They're made from transparent plastic that's custom-moulded to fit over the teeth and gradually move them into their correct position over time.
Clear aligners may not be suitable for all orthodontic conditions, but they can be effective if minor adjustments are needed for crooked or misaligned teeth.
If you or your child have a more severe overbite, underbite or crossbite, or another issue such as crowding or protruding teeth, your dentist may recommend traditional braces.
Invisalign® and Invisalign® Teen were designed to be a more discreet option for teenagers and adults who don't want to draw attention to their orthodontic treatment. They also have other advantages over traditional braces, including:
Any dental or orthodontic treatment has risks, and your dentist will make sure that you and your child understand the possible side-effects and complications when making your decision.
Invisalign® Teen clear aligners avoid some of the risks of braces, as there are no brackets or wires to cause injuries. However, there may still be a risk of relapse if a retainer is not worn after aligners are removed. This can cause the teeth to shift back towards their old position and may require another treatment.
To minimise the risks, check your dentist's credentials to make sure they have experience in teenage orthodontics.
To find out more about Invisalign® Teen and other orthodontic treatments we offer for teenagers and adults at Face Value Dental, book a consultation with our experienced dentists Dr Adam Alford or Dr Jena Ward today.
 Healthdirect. Dental braces and retainers [Online] 2018 [Accessed January 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-braces-and-retainers
 Better Health Channel. Orthodontic treatment [Online] 2018 [Accessed January 2019] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/orthodontic-treatment