What Should Parents Know About Clear Aligners For Teens?

A lot of teens are reluctant to get braces, and we can understand why. That’s why clear aligners exist! Today, Straight Smiles Orthodontics will answer this question: What should parents know about clear aligners for teens?

What Are They?

Clear aligners are a fantastic, less visible alternative to traditional braces, used to correct misalignment in the teeth of teenage and adult patients. In our offices, we offer Invisalign and ClearCorrect aligners.

How Aligners Are Made

Processes such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect follow a comparable fitting and manufacturing procedure. Understanding this bespoke process can shed light on why they’re such a great option for teens. 

  1. Consultation: Dr. Tom or Dr. Nicholas Rafail will conduct an initial complimentary consultation to initiate your teen’s selected treatment. During this session, we will evaluate their teeth, discuss treatment objectives, and assess the suitability of this option for you.
  2. Digital Scanning or Impressions: Instead of traditional messy putty, we utilize cutting-edge digital scanning technology to generate precise 3D models of your child’s teeth and gums. This enables us to accurately capture all the intricacies of their unique dental anatomy.
  3. Treatment Planning:  Our doctors employ specialized software to digitally manipulate your teeth into the desired positions. This will serve as a virtual blueprint for crafting the customized aligners. This can be a great tool for teens to reference so that their treatment outcome is never left to the imagination. They will know what we’re working towards!
  4. Fabrication: Once the treatment plan is finalized, the digital models are utilized to produce a series of custom clear aligners. These aligners are created using advanced computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology from lightweight and durable BPA-free plastic.
  5. Aligner Trimming: Following fabrication, each aligner undergoes precise trimming to ensure smooth edges and a comfortable fit. This step helps prevent irritation to the gums and oral tissues during wear.
  6. Quality Control: Aligners undergo thorough quality checks at the lab to ensure accuracy and consistency. This entails verifying that each aligner aligns precisely with the digital treatment plan.
  7. Fitting: Upon completion, you and your child will return to our office to receive their initial set of aligners. We’ll ensure they fit perfectly and provide instructions on how to wear and maintain them effectively. This process always takes a bit of adjustment, but your teen is more than capable of handling it!
  8. Treatment Progression: Throughout the treatment process, they’ll wear each set of aligners for approximately one to two weeks, gradually guiding the teeth closer to their desired positions. Regular appointments with us enable adjustments to be made as necessary along the way.

What Should Parents Know About Clear Aligners For Teens?

Some Benefits of Clear Aligners

If your teenager is undecided about clear aligners, we’d like to share some insights that could help steer you in the right direction. There are lots of advantages to this approach that uniquely benefit this age group:

  • Discreet Appearance: Clear aligners offer a nearly invisible orthodontic solution, which is particularly advantageous for individuals seeking treatment without the noticeable appearance of braces. Since teenagers are in school or entering college, they can have certain social and cosmetic standards for themselves that this can benefit. 
  • Comfortable: Our meticulous customization minimizes discomfort. While there may be an initial period of adjustment, any discomfort is typically brief and manageable with time. We always encourage our patients to reach out to our Straight Smiles Orthodontics team if they’re experiencing any unusual or persistent disturbances. In many cases, simple adjustments, such as smoothing out a sharp edge on an aligner, can alleviate this.
  • Removable: Clear aligners can be effortlessly removed while eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing, allowing for better oral hygiene practices compared to traditional braces. Traditional braces, with their many small components, can pose challenges for cleaning as food particles easily get trapped. This can be tough for teens busy with school, friends, or their first jobs.
  • Predictable Results: Utilizing advanced 3D scanning technology, we can accurately visualize and depict anticipated results. The absence of wires and brackets also allows for a more gradual and tangible progression toward achieving our desired outcome.
  • Versatility: Clear aligners are highly versatile and effective in addressing a wide array of orthodontic issues, including crowding, overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, and tooth gaps. Whether your teen’s concerns are mild or complex, our doctors can discuss why this option may be the most appropriate for your needs.

Keep in mind: If clear aligners aren’t deemed the best option for your child, there are numerous alternative paths we can explore to address orthodontic concerns. So, don’t lose heart!

What Should Parents Know About Clear Aligners For Teens?

New Smile Coming Through!

We hope this blog provides you with some answers as parents working with a teenager seeking orthodontic treatment. Straight Smiles Orthodontics consists of a team of professionals who work with teens every day, so you can be confident in our quality of care. We have three excellent offices in Shelby Township, Novi, and Rochester Hills. We hope to see you soon!