Getting kids teeth straightened early on can preempt all sorts of other dental problems. And, the good news is that dental braces aren’t what they were when we were growing up. We speak with Dr Catherine Lee about what Invisalign has to offer.
Specially designed for teens and tweens, Invisalign has developed some exciting new technology for youngsters with a Class II jaw growth imbalance – for example, a lower jaw that is growing more slowly than the upper jaw. Any such problems should already have been picked up at a child’s first orthodontic evaluation, which should be done by the age of seven, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
Like the original Invisalign, and then Invisalign Teen, the new aligners are light, removable, perfectly clear and virtually invisible. Their ground-breaking new feature is “precision wings” on each side, which work to hold the lower jaw forward and, over time, move it into the correct position.
This action is like one of the Class II functional appliances used in conventional orthodontics, the Twin Block. With this older technology, we first had to correct the jaw position before we could start treatment with braces to correct the bite and straighten the teeth. This used to mean a sometimes painful and unavoidably long treatment period.
Now, Invisalign with Mandibular Advancement can simultaneously reposition the jaw and realign the teeth! As the jaw muscles are adapting to the new position, at the same time the aligners are moving the teeth to correct the bite. This saves both time and money.
Apart from the added comfort and self-confidence that clear aligners give, other important advantages include:
- continuing to eat your favourite foods, as you remove the aligners for mealtimes and snacks;
- better hygiene, as teeth can be brushed and flossed in the normal way;
- continuing to talk clearly and normally;
- at the doctor’s discretion, having the possibility of completing the programme even faster with weekly (rather than fortnightly) aligner changes.
In my opinion, Invisalign clear aligners are now the most technologically advanced way to transform smiles – efficiently, predictably and gently!
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