Confident Smiles, Happy Teens: A Parent's Guide to Choosing the Best Invisible Braces for Teens

The teenage years can be a minefield for parents as well as their kids. The teens face the daily scrutiny of their peers and are developing their self-image based on how they believe others see them. Parents must tread carefully as they help their adolescents to feel good about their appearance and develop self-confidence. In the past, parents of kids who don’t have perfectly straight teeth would bring them to an orthodontist’s office, where the kids would be fitted with metal braces to pull the teeth into alignment. Today, there’s a better option for helping teens smile with confidence without forcing them to walk around with a mouthful of metal for months or years. Invisible braces for teens help preserve their dignity and image while straightening their teeth. But are they the right choice for your family? Here’s everything you need to know about invisible braces for teens:

Understanding Invisible Braces for Teens

The proper term for invisible braces is “clear orthodontic aligners” rather than “clear braces” and it’s important to understand that these two types of therapy are quite different. Clear braces are similar to metal braces, but the brackets and wires are made with materials that match the natural color of teeth, so they are less noticeable. Orthodontic aligners are a series of removable, transparent plastic trays that are fitted specifically to the patient’s teeth. The trays are changed out as the teeth move into their proper place. The trays may be worn all day or only at night.

6 Benefits of Invisible Braces for Teens

There are a number of advantages of choosing invisible braces over traditional braces for your teen. Here are just a few:

1. Appearance
Wearing traditional braces can undermine a teen’s self-esteem. They may have to endure all the common taunts for kids with braces. And who wants to smile for a class picture or post a selfie on social media with brackets and wires on their teeth? Invisible aligners often aren’t even noticeable when they’re on and teens can easily remove the trays to take photos. Some brands even offer night-time only aligners, an appealing option for self-conscious teenagers.

2. Comfort
Ask anyone who has worn metal braces about their experience and you’re almost certain to hear about lips, gums and the walls of the mouth scratched up by the brackets and wires. Invisible braces are molded to fit snugly on the patient’s teeth, and most are made with a smooth, soft plastic that doesn’t rough up the flesh around them.

3. Convenience
With traditional braces, you need to schedule—and pay for—regular visits to an orthodontist’s office to adjust them. Teens can be fitted with invisible braces through an at-home and online process, and check-ups often are conducted remotely. New plastic trays adjusted to the changes in the teeth typically are sent through the mail.

4. No restrictions
Traditional braces usually come with a set of guidelines and cautions about eating. Teens may be restricted from having some crunchy snacks, chewing gum and other foods that may get stuck in or damage the braces. With most invisible aligners, teens can simply take out the trays to eat all their favorite foods.

5. Hygiene
Teens are often very concerned about keeping their mouth looking and feeling clean while they are wearing traditional braces. They may need to use special tools to remove bits of food stuck in the brackets and wires. Invisible braces are not prone to trapping food bits and the trays are easy to take out for a thorough daily cleaning.

6. Effectiveness
None of the other benefits would matter at all if invisible braces did not help straighten teeth. Years of research and the experiences of satisfied customers show that invisible braces are just as effective and work about as swiftly as traditional braces do. After treatment with invisible braces, your teen will be smiling again, and you will feel that your money is well-spent.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Invisible Braces

When shopping for the right invisible braces for your teenager, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Here are some of the most important:

1. Free evaluation
Invisible braces for teens can correct a wide range of common problems, including overcrowded or gapped teeth, overbites and underbites. More severe misalignments may not be suitable for treatment with invisible braces. Trustworthy brands will give you and your teen a free assessment before you must commit to purchasing.

2. Online or in person
With some brands, you buy invisible braces online while with others you work in person with an orthodontist—at least when you’re getting started. Nearly all brands provide support from professional orthodontists via tele-dentistry. If your teen has a complex problem or you both would feel more comfortable asking all of your questions face-to-face, choose a brand of invisible braces that are available through an orthodontist near you.

3. Ease of use
Before deciding, read over the details of how the molds for the invisible braces are made, how they are updated as your teen’s teeth change, and what care the invisible braces need. You will find key differences in the set-up process, the timing of updates, and maintenance that will help you determine what are the best invisible braces for your teen.

4. Treatment duration
The average time needed for invisible braces to correct misaligned teeth is about six months, but some brands promise results in just three months while others may take up to eight months. Note that your teen may need to continue to wear invisible braces at night for up to two years to ensure the teeth stay in their new alignment. The duration of the treatment affects not only how long your teen must wait for a better smile but also your costs.

5. All-day or night only
The fastest change generally results from wearing invisible braces most of the time, but you can find nighttime-only options if your teen declines to wear them in public.

However, for quicker results, this dentist who does dental veneers in Harrisburg NC recommends all-day aligners. Typically, they should be worn for at least 22 hours a day.

6. Extras
Along with the invisible braces, your plan may come with additional resources to speed your teen’s progress. One brand, for instance, provides you with a tool that gently vibrates teeth to loosen them so they’re ready for the braces to move them. You may also get cleaning aids, teeth whitener, and other helpful extras.

Invisible Braces Costs and Deals

Estimates for the cost of metal braces range from $3,000 to $7,000, while less noticeable clear braces tend to cost between $4,000 and $8,000. On average, the prices for treatment with invisible line braces for teens come in between $5,100 and $7,000.

Dental insurance plans may pay for some of the costs of invisible braces for your teenager. You also can set up payment plans or financing with many brands of invisible braces.

Before making your final decision, search the Web for discounts and other deals on invisible braces for teens. You may get 20 percent or more off the standard price. Just bear in mind that the cheapest invisible braces for teens may not be the ideal solution for your child.

The Best Invisible Braces for Your Teen

Investing in your teenager’s self-esteem is one of the easiest choices you can make to help them become confident, happy adults. Be sure to include your teen in the discussion so you both are committed to seeing the process through to the finish. The best invisible braces for your teen will bring a smile to both of your faces!

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