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Straightening teeth is a coming-of-age ritual for millions of American teens each year, but unbeknownst to parents, the process has experienced remarkable innovations since most parents were teenagers decades ago. Dr. Trudy Bonvino of Cosmopolitan Orthodontics in Minneapolis helps set the record straight on some of the most common myths when it comes to orthodontic care for teens today.
Myth #1: I don’t have to worry about straightening my child’s teeth until they’re a teen.
Truth: The American Association of Orthodontics recommends initial evaluation at the first sign of problems or by the age of seven*. “Early evaluation can provide an important baseline that will help map out future plans for your child,” explains Dr. Bonvino. “It also provides timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective, affordable treatment in the least amount of time once they hit their teen years.”
Myth #2: Braces are the only option.
Truth: Metal braces are not the only teen straightening choice for teens today. Twenty years ago, Invisalign® treatment was introduced, providing a whole new way to straighten teeth using clear plastic aligners.
According to Dr. Bonvino: “Invisalign treatment is just as effective as traditional braces in most cases and comes with the added benefits of being removable and nearly invisible. These days most of my teen patients are active on social media and appreciate being able to share photos without feeling self conscious about their smiles. Moms love that with Invisalign treatment there are no food restrictions so no battles over what their kids can and can’t eat, no irritated gums and cheeks after sports, and no emergency visits for broken brackets.”
Myth #3: Invisalign treatment is only for adults.
Truth: Invisalign Teen® treatment is the only clear aligner treatment system designed with features and benefits especially for teens to straighten teeth. Blue indicators fade over time when aligners are worn as directed helping to track compliance, and eruption tabs allow for treatment while new teeth are still coming in. Additionally, Invisalign Teen treatment comes with six free replacement aligners.
The makers of Invisalign clear aligners are so confident that Invisalign Teen treatment works as effectively as metal braces on simple to complex teeth straightening concerns, they now offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with Invisalign Teen treatment for any reason within the first six months of treatment, a participating orthodontist will switch your teen into braces at no additional cost. The Invisalign Teen Guarantee program is currently offered in Minneapolis through January 31, 2017. Visit Invisalign Teen® Guarantee's online to learn more.
Myth #4: Teeth straightening is only a cosmetic concern.
Truth: Straightening your teen’s teeth is more than a cosmetic issue, it’s a health concern. Explains Dr. Bonvino: “proper alignment promotes healthier teeth and gums, making it easier to eat, speak and clean your teeth. Misalignment may contribute to a sore jaw, improper chewing and enamel wear.” Additionally, there are emotional considerations, like self-confidence, to take into account as well. In fact, research shows that 96% of US teens who are not satisfied with their smile, are insecure about their appearance.*
Myth #5: Modern innovations like Invisalign treatment cost more than braces.
Truth: Invisalign treatment actually costs about the same as metal braces and insurance and flexible spending accounts typically apply just as they would with any orthodontic care. Many orthodontists also offer interest-free financing and payment plan options, making treatment more affordable for families.
*Kelton, Invisalign Teen Confidence Study, 2014