It’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun.
Some of you might remember, in the olden days of DudeMom, that I received complimentary orthodontics treatment as part of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board.
It was an awesome experience that resulted in the realignment of my teeth (I wore braces previously as a teenager) and ultimately, the elimination of some more painful issues I’d been suffering with for years.
Fast forward a number of years, at least 15 pounds, a bout of traditional braces with Dude 1, and now I am staring at the happy and crooked smile of my middle schooler who is in need of some orthodontics treatment.
For the third time!
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to rejoin the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board and to work with Invisalign Teen this time around to get his treatment done.
We went last week for his first visit with Dr. Thabet (he was my orthodontist too!) and we worked through his treatment plan for the next couple of years.
I’d pretend he wasn’t next level excited about it, but that would be a lie…
We constantly get questions about Invisalign and orthodontics treatment in general so, as we embark on this journey to get his teeth in formation, lemme just address all of those questions for you once and for all.
FAQs About Braces and Invisalign for Tweens and Teens
Why does your 7 year old have on braces already?!
There are a number of different scenarios in which your child may need orthodontic treatment at a relatively young age. In our case, we had a lot of crowding. The first round of braces for both of my sons included an expander to help widen the top of their mouths. Our doctor explained that doing it at a younger age, before bones are set, makes the process easier, faster, and less painful for the child (I had one at 19, please believe me when I say it hurt like a mug). Additionally, where Dude 2 is concerned, he needed extra attention because his teeth were literally coming into the wrong spaces. Can you imagine having to rearrange your teeth after they grow in?! We didn’t want surgery and such down the road so his orthodontist put him into a few brackets to help guide those teeth out of crazy land and into real life.
Isn’t Invisalign just a retainer?
No sir. A retainer is meant to hold your teeth in place, Invisalign actually moves your teeth into the desired locations. Your orthodontist maps out a treatment plan and then has Invisalign create your “aligners” (that’s what they call the plastic tray thingys you put in your mouth). Every couple of weeks you switch out your old aligners with a new pair to get your teeth to move to the desired position. At the end of treatment (about 18 –24 months for Dude 2), your teeth will be properly aligned and you will need a “retainer” just like a person in traditional braces.
But, it’s super expensive right?
Not really. I mean, not really in comparison to braces. The price is comparable (if your doctor uses the product), and it is often covered by insurance just like braces.
Come again? Did you say insurance?! I can get Invisalign with my insurance?!
Yeah, boyee. If your insurance covers orthodontics then in many cases you can elect to use Invisalign. They aren’t the boss of you, you do what you want! Okay, they totally are, but you know, ask, because they actually are often cool with it.
But, do kids really wear it though? Like don’t they take it out and forget to put it back in? Or even worse, Break It Or lose it Like Everything Else They Own?
Sure, some kids are going to do that and you know if your kid is one of those kids. However, Invisalign notes that kids are usually more responsive to the process than parents anticipate. They want straight teeth and they understand that it must be worn to achieve those results. Additionally, for the slackers, Invisalign Teen has installed “blue dot technology” on the aligners that indicate if your child has been wearing their aligners or not. It starts out blue and then, over time with wear, it turns white. If your kid isn’t wearing their trays like they should, you and your orthodontist will know and, even better, have proof! Added bonus: Invisalign Teen gets how teens work so they provide up to six free replacement aligners if lost or broken.
And, can Invisalign fix any type of ortho issue?
Not totally, but almost. Your doctor will determine if your child is a good candidate for Invisalign. In our case, Dude 2 has a pretty aggressive overbite situation and he will need to have that addressed in pre-treatment (something they do before they put your Invisalign on) before getting his aligners. This means he also won’t need to wear Invisalign for quite as long. We recommend using the Invisalign website to find a preferred practitioner (they know their ish when it comes to Invisalign and how to use the product).
Aside from being clear, are the other benefits?
We are excited because Invisalgn makes it easy for wearers to keep their mouth hygiene up to snuff. They don’t have to worry about trying to brush or floss around brackets –you just take the aligners out and clean your grits like usual. Plus, there are no food restrictions. You remove the aligners to eat so you don’t have to give up your Doritos habit at all. Lastly, for kids like mine who are athletes, you don’t have to deal with braces related mouth injuries. And, you’ll never get stuck to your girlfriend when you kiss. Which totally isn’t happening anyway, because kissing isn’t allowed, and neither are girlfriends for that matter.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board. My son has received complimentary treatment from the makers of Invisalign clear aligners, but all opinions expressed are my own.