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Why Invisalign® may be appropriate for your teen: The cosmetic, comfortable, and effective braces alternative

Clear aligners are often praised as a discreet alternative for adults who do not want to wear noticeable metal braces. However, aligner therapies like Invisalign® are also an attractive and effective option for pediatric patients, including teens. From our office in Potomac Falls, Virginia, we at Abel, Phan & Associates are excited to blend considerable talents and artistry with cutting-edge technologies to make over the appearance and health of teenagers’ smiles. 

The Invisalign® difference

Braces involve using a system of brackets, wires, and bands to reposition teeth progressively. Since the braces are “fixed” (non-removable) to the teeth, only dentists or orthodontists can tighten or remove them. Tightening the wires may be uncomfortable (especially for smaller mouths), but it is necessary to ensure treatment remains on schedule. Additionally, braces involve more frequent visits to the dentist’s office. Our dentists, Drs. Abel and Phan, only need to check that treatment is going as planned. Far fewer visits are required because the patient is in the driver’s seat. 

When expertly planned and monitored by our dentists, custom oral appliances (or aligner trays) are provided to teens at the start of treatment. They simply slip the trays into their mouth and over their teeth. They can easily be taken in and out of the mouth. These aligners are easy to wear because they are made from smooth, flexible, comfortable, and see-through thermoplastic. There are no wires and brackets that poke at the inside of your mouth or that potentially erode or damage tooth enamel. The aligners are easy to care for and to adjust to. They should be worn all day and night except when cleaning the aligners, brushing and flossing, and eating. 

During periodic visits, additional sets of aligners are provided. While the aligners generally look the same, there are subtle differences. So, it is important to wear each tray in the correct order. The aligners are marked to help with this. Generally, your teen will swap out one aligner for the next in the series on a weekly or biweekly basis. The aligners are also marked with blue indicator dots to ensure daily compliance in case your child forgets to put the tray back in after basketball or hockey practice or after meals. 

Results without the hassle 

It’s estimated that around 70% of American kids aged 18 and younger will develop malocclusion, which requires orthodontic treatment. In the past, those with misaligned teeth and jaws were limited in their options for orthodontia to “fixed” braces with obvious silver-colored metal hardware. Today, patients of all ages and with various orthodontic challenges can benefit from clear aligner therapies. 

Modern Invisalign® is also appropriate for more extensive bite issues like overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite. Depending on your child’s needs, specialized SmartForce® attachments may be part of Invisalign® treatment. These components help to gently exert just the right amount of force in the right direction to move teeth through bone. Total treatment time may be comparable to braces or far shorter due partly to the ease of progressing from one stage of treatment to the next – without the orthodontist’s visit and adjustments.

Call Abel, Phan & Associates of Potomac Falls, VA, at (571) 450-9848 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Chuong Phan

Dr. phan

Dr. Anna Abel

Dr. Abel

Husband and wife duo Drs. Chuong Phan and Anna Abel lead the Abel, Phan, and Associates dental team.

Dr. Phan is a Howard University College of Dentistry graduate and has practiced for over 20 years. His favorite clinical procedures are orthodontic and endodontic treatments, including root canal therapy. He has been trained in many prestigious institutes. Dr. Abel graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and has over 20 years of experience. Her favorite procedures are cosmetic services like veneers, implants, and oral surgery. She has trained with top-level organizations.

Both doctors are regular volunteers at Northern Virginia Dental Clinic, providing care to low-income patients, for which they have received many honors. They have also volunteered to help disadvantaged communities, especially children, through many foreign missions.