The Teenager and Invisalign [Facts]

The time spent as a teenager is very important. It involves dating, sports, social events, school plays and more. This is not the time in a young person’s life when they want to experience metal braces. It’s now possible for teenagers to avoid all of the self-conscience feelings associated with having metal braces. There is now a way for teenagers to straighten their teeth without having metal wires and bracket part of their smile.

teens laughing

Teenager Perception

When most teens think of braces, they envision having traditional metal braces. The anticipation of an experience with metal in their mouth that is confining, restrictive and providing a very negative effect on their lifestyle. They may hear from friends who had metal braces about the physical irritation, wires and the discomfort associated with adjustments. They may consider braces something that can impair their ability to function during a very challenging time of their life.

Invisible Braces

Invisalign TeenĀ® are clear plastic aligners and not easily noticed when in use. They’re constructed from clear, smooth plastic. It’s possible for teens to have these braces on, and their friends not notice them. They are made from a very thick and comfortable material. They also provide very predictable tooth alignment for those who use them. This is helpful when treating common malocclusions that often occur with teenagers. Previously these conditions may have only been able to be treated with traditional metal braces.

No Diet Restrictions

In the past when young people wore braces they had certain dietary restrictions. They were not permitted to eat certain types of food like whole apples and popcorn. Chewing gum was not permitted. With clear plastic aligners, which are removable, nothing is forbidden to be eaten. They can be taken out so a teen’s favorite food can be eaten at any time. This is also okay since normal brushing and flossing can be performed. Proper oral hygiene is difficult with traditional braces but is possible with clear plastic aligners.




Aligning the Teeth

Clear plastic aligners are able to correct situations of widely spaced teeth, overbites, crowded teeth, underbites, crossbites and more. This method for aligning a person’s teeth is done with a number of trays. These are called aligners and are made from polyurethane plastic. They are invisible and able to completely cover teeth. A teen will be required to wear a series of different aligners. Each one is a little different from the previous one. Each set may be worn up to 22 hours a day for a two-week period. When this is over, a teen can move onto the next set. This has been proven successful for moving a teen’s teeth into a predetermined and improved position.

Individualized Aligners

Invisalign aligners are computer-generated. Models of a teen’s teeth and bite are created from photographs as well as X-rays. All of this is done by an experienced and trained orthodontist. This is a specialist with training in the growth and development of teeth, jaws, treatment of malocclusions and more. Once the models are created, they are forwarded to a specialized laboratory. They will then be scanned into a computer that can create a three-dimensional image.

The position and movement of each tooth into an improved position is done on the computer screen. This will be done for each tooth until the stages required to reach proper alignment are determined. The computer software will then be used to manufacture an appropriate plastic liner for each step. Once this is complete, the entire tray system is forwarded to the orthodontist for treatment to begin.

Aligner Sequences

The last clear plastic aligner used in the sequence doesn’t mean the teeth are in their final position. Should the teeth need more work, additional aligners can be ordered by an orthodontist to achieve the desired result. The amount of time required to put teeth in proper alignment could be up to 24 months. The length of time will be based on the amount of movement needed by the teeth. This will be determined by the complexity and degree of the malocclusion.

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The concept of using clear plastic aligners was the result of a collaboration between a number of orthodontists who were leaders in their industry. They understood the challenges faced by teens who need to wear braces. The clear plastic aligners may now come with something know as a Blue Dot Wear Indicator. It is designed to fade when an aligner is worn and needs to be changed. Eruption Tabs are able to adjust for the growth of second molars. There are also accommodations for other orthodontic conditions common with teens.


The Teenager often prefers the clear plastic aligners over traditional braces because of comfort. The clear plastic aligners are individually made to fit the teeth of only one teenager. Since they are comfortable, a teen will struggle less to be reminded to wear them. These types of aligners enable a teen to maintain their active lifestyle. They can play sports, engage in outdoor activities, play musical instruments and more. Thus there will be no disruptions in their life caused by wearing clear plastic aligners.


The teen years are a time to focus on social life. Many teenagers like how wearing clear plastic aligners provide a preferred cosmetic appearance. During their time in high school, most kids want to fit in with those around them. They know that having crooked teeth can make them uncomfortable and self-conscience. Clear plastic aligners provide them with an opportunity to have their teeth put into proper alignment without changing their appearance. Consequently, they can spend time with their friends and school without thinking about their braces.

Simple Maintenance

Teenager patients prefer using clear plastic aligners because they are easier to care for than other types of traditional orthodontics. With metal braces, food particles can easily get stuck in them. Clear plastic aligners can simply be removed. This means any type of food can be eaten without concern for it getting stuck in their braces. With metal braces, tooth decay can also occur. Food particles can get stuck in places that are difficult to clean. Clear plastic aligners can be removed for effective oral hygiene.


You can have all your questions about Invisalign answered by making an appointment to see Dr. Nease or Dr. Higginbotham. Contact them today and learn how your teen can benefit from this popular orthodontic treatment.

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Nease and Higginbotham Orthodontics
2455 E. Main Street
SC 29307
Phone: (864) 579-7700


The Teenager and Invisalign (Facts)