Clear aligners for children, teens, and young adults
Every parent wants two things for their children: that they are happy and healthy.
Happiness and health are the two things we deal with every day. We find that having healthy teeth makes us more prone to smiling, and everyone perceives someone who smiles readily to be happy.
Plus, smiling is sort of contagious – when one person smiles others smile in response (or at least feel happier having seen a smile).
If your children’s teeth are a little crooked, they might feel a little self-conscious about their smile. So, you and they might want to find out whether their teeth can be straightened to give a more even, symmetrical smile that they’re more confident about.
That’s where clear aligners come in.
Alignment isn’t only for aesthetic reasons
It’s easy to think about realigning teeth as purely to make them look better, however, straightening teeth isn’t only about appearance.
Having misaligned teeth can cause a range of issues, including excessive, premature wear to your teeth and jaw, discomfort, and even TMJ disorder.
However, it is true that appearance is the primary factor in the decision to get clear aligner treatment. According to Orthodontics Australia, around 55 per cent of the Australian population feels self-conscious about their teeth and almost two-thirds are willing to fix their misaligned teeth.
A report released a couple of years ago found that around 40,000 Australians use clear aligner therapy for teeth straightening each year, with a significant proportion of those being teens.
Are clear aligners the right treatment option for children?
Clear aligners are generally just as safe and effective for children as they are for adults.
There are pros and cons to the fact that clear aligners are removable. On the one hand, because you can take them out while eating, it’s easier to chew on food and brush your teeth afterwards, and the aligners are easy to clean.
On the other hand, being removable means they require some degree of discipline to wear. Aligners need to be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day to be effective and If they’re not used properly, treatment progress may be compromised.
That means we need to consider how children and teens will cope with this routine.
Middleborough Dental Care offers two clear aligner options
You’ve probably heard of Invisalign, given it’s been around for more than 20 years and has been the leader in the field – both in terms of innovation and market share – for a long time.
Invisalign has developed a state-of-the-art material that they call SmartTrack. This has been conceived and engineered to be more comfortable and discreet and to straighten teeth even more predictably.
The comparatively newer alternative is Spark Clear Aligners, which have become the treatment of choice by orthodontists in Australia. They might not say it this way, but it seems clear (pun intended) that the Spark team has recognised Invisalign as the benchmark and set about finding ways to do things just a bit better, if they can.
They use a material called TruGEN, which they say offers better force retention, better contact, and more effective tooth movement throughout treatment. Spark Clear Aligners also have a slightly different shape, with scalloped edges for wearer comfort.
Both offer excellent products for patients and have also done some great work in making our jobs more efficient so that we can be even more confident of achieving great results.
Either Invisalign or Spark Clear Aligners can be outstanding options for many of our patients, although sometimes there are instances where we might suggest one or the other being potentially more favourable.
Which option is right for you or your child?
Both Dr Alice and Dr Nicole have undergone comprehensive training, so are well equipped to provide optimal clear aligner treatment. That starts with assessing your/your child’s needs and explaining the options.
We will always make sure you understand what we think and why and give you as much information as possible. That includes the potential total cost of the treatment, which can range from $1,800 to $6,500.
The overall cost of clear aligners depends on how complex each case is, in other words, how much realignment is needed, as that helps us determine how long treatment is likely to last.
In some cases, you can start to see results within a matter of weeks and the full treatment is finished in around six months, however, sometimes it will take a bit longer.
If you’d like to find out more about clear aligners or are ready for an assessment, get in touch today.