Clear aligners are a discreet way to straighten teeth. This is why they are popular with pre-teens and teenagers who fret about their looks. They are also wildly popular with adults who need to straighten their teeth without having to treat their colleagues to the spectacle of a mouth full of metal. Committed teens and disciplined adults can follow an orthodontist’s instructions. They can wear their clear aligners and take care of them just like the orthodontist directs. Such patients go on to enjoy straighter teeth in a relatively short time.
Straightening teeth with clear aligners
In lieu of braces, clear aligners are used by a variety of age groups.
1. Clear aligners and younger children
What is the cut-off age of a candidate for clear aligners? It is the age when a patient no longer has any baby teeth. However, a patient does not have to wait for the permanent teeth to grow fully before starting clear aligner treatment. As long as all the front teeth and premolars are fully or partially grown, the patient can start wearing clear aligners. An orthodontist will design the aligners of such patients with fillers for the teeth that are yet to grow fully.
That said, the success of the treatment depends entirely on the discipline and commitment of the child. This is a personality trait that only a parent or caregiver would know. They are the ones who should tell the orthodontist whether or not clear aligners are a good fit for their child.
2. Clear aligners and teens
Invisalign, the market leader of clear aligners, has a product line specifically for teens. This means that teenagers with mild to moderate dental issues are often good candidates for the treatment. Ultimately, the success of the treatment will depend on how well the teen follows the dentist’s instructions.
3. Clear aligners and adults
An orthodontist will let a person know if they are a good candidate for clear aligner therapy. In adults, the aligners are used to treat problems like:
- Mild to moderate overcrowding
- Gapped teeth
- Mild to moderate crossbites, underbites or overbites
A good candidate for clear aligners will need to observe good oral habits and take good care of their aligners. This requires a large dose of commitment.
In the end, it is all about compliance
The patient must keep their aligners on for 20 to 22 hours a day. It is the only way that clear aligners will work quickly and effectively. The patient also has to follow every one of the orthodontist’s instructions to the letter. This takes discipline and commitment.
If your pre-teen is the type of person who sticks to their goals and follows through, then they are a good candidate for clear aligners. If you suspect that you will find a set of clear aligners in a pocket as you do a load of laundry, then you should consider braces instead. Stop by our practice to find out more about clear aligners and whether they are a good fit for your child.
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