Going beyond simply creating a beautiful smile.
If your child’s teeth look relatively straight, you may be confused about why their dentist is recommending an orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign. After all, even if their smile isn’t perfect, it looks good—so does your child really need the treatment? Is the expense worth the benefits your child will gain? Since orthodontic treatments are famous for their ability to improve the appearance of smiles by straightening teeth and correcting bites, it’s not uncommon for people to assume that they’re purely cosmetic treatments. In reality, however, orthodontics like Invisalign have a wide range of very real benefits, often preventing future issues by taking action before problems arise. As a result, even if your child’s smile looks good now, getting them an appointment at the Invisalign Gainesville dental office can help secure their confidence as well as their future oral and overall health. Here are a few of the benefits that Invisalign may be able to provide for your child.
Invisalign makes it easier for your child to clean their teeth.
Crooked or uneven teeth are actually more vulnerable to oral health issues like cavities or periodontitis because they create lots of nooks and crannies that are harder to clean—even if your child is trying to be careful about cleaning their teeth. This causes bacteria to build up into a film of plaque or hardened tartar on these parts of your child’s teeth, which leads to an increased risk of cavities or gum disease. Straightening your child’s teeth and making them even makes them much easier to clean, which reduces the likelihood that your child will suffer from these oral health concerns as long as they follow a good oral hygiene routine.
It helps protect your child from bone loss.
Without regular dental appointments, periodontitis often goes unnoticed until it’s severe, and can easily lead to bone loss in your child’s jaw. By straightening your child’s teeth and making it less likely that they’ll suffer from periodontal disease, Invisalign also helps to protect your child from bone loss in their jaw. Plus, Invisalign protects your child throughout their treatment by making it much easier for them to carry out their usual oral hygiene routine than it is with traditional braces; instead of navigating the metal wiring of braces to floss and brush their teeth, Invisalign allows your child to simply pop out their aligners and carry out their usual routine. This makes it easy for your child to care for their oral health during treatment while ensuring that their routine becomes progressively easier as their teeth even out.
Invisalign lowers your child’s chances of suffering a dental injury.
If your child accidentally takes a blow to the face, such as during a soccer game, their uneven teeth are more vulnerable to dental injury because they’ll take the brunt of the force. This makes them more likely to suffer painful dental emergencies like chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. Straightening their teeth with Invisalign, however, ensures that all of their teeth form an even wall, which means the force of any blow to their face will be distributed more evenly across their teeth—reducing the likelihood that they’ll suffer a dental injury.
It prevents your child’s teeth from wearing unevenly.
Even if your child’s smile looks good, a misaligned bite can cause them to put more pressure on certain teeth than they do on others. This might sound like a minor issue, but over time it can cause uneven wear on their teeth, which can lead to a number of oral health concerns. Not only can this make some of your child’s teeth appear too short, but it can lead to tooth sensitivity and make their teeth more vulnerable to decay as the enamel is worn down; in these cases, the affected teeth may need to be capped with a crown to protect them, restore their function, and eliminate sensitivity. It can also lead to further issues with their bite, making chewing uncomfortable or even leading to jaw pain. Correcting your child’s bite before these issues appear can save them a lot of pain and expense down the road.
Invisalign helps your child’s digestion.
While it might sound weird that an issue with your child’s bite can impact their digestion, it’s very true! Chewing is part of the digestive process, and your child’s stomach relies on it. When food isn’t chewed up well, the stomach has a harder time digesting it, pulling fewer nutrients—and thus less energy—from it. This is an especially big issue for your child, who needs all the nutrients and energy they can get to continue growing properly. Resolving a misaligned bite will allow your child to chew their food comfortably and thoroughly.
It can remedy or prevent TMJ pain.
A misaligned bite is one of the big causes of TMJ pain, as it can put unnecessary stress on the joint of your child’s jaw. Your child may not experience this symptom until later in life, but it can be incredibly painful, making eating, speaking, and even swallowing difficult, and sometimes causing pain throughout the neck and shoulders as well as in the jaw. Ensuring that your child’s bite is in the right position allows their jaw to work the way it’s supposed to in ideal conditions and protects your child from suffering from TMJ pain in the future.
It can head off issues caused by your child putting too much pressure on their teeth.
An uneven bite can also cause your child to put too much pressure on their teeth by clenching or grinding them, which can cause a number of oral health concerns. In addition to the risk of your child’s teeth chipping, cracking, or breaking, the extra pressure on your child’s teeth can damage the supportive tissue in their mouth, causing their teeth to loosen over time. If your child’s bite is even, however, they are much better protected.
Invisalign helps resolve speech issues.
One of the many jobs our teeth play in our daily lives is helping us to speak; certain sounds are made by using our teeth to control airflow or by pressing the tongue against them. When teeth aren’t straight or have a significant gap between them, it can cause several different speech issues, such as lisps, slurred speech, whistling sounds, and difficulty pronouncing some consonants or strident sounds correctly. This can quickly erode your child’s confidence, especially as they grow older and become more aware of it. Thankfully, straightening their teeth can give them an even, solid surface to make sounds against, helping them remedy their speech issues and restoring their confidence.
It improves their self-esteem.
Improving the appearance and function of your child’s teeth can give their self-esteem a real boost, helping them feel more confident in their daily lives—and that’s worth a lot, especially when they’re still young. Invisalign is especially good at this because the aligners are made of clear plastic instead of the metal wiring of traditional braces, making them nearly invisible on your child’s teeth. This detail may make you wonder, “Without wires to tighten, how does Invisalign work?” The answer is simple—they work much the same way as braces. Invisalign consists of a series of aligners, which exerts a gradually increasing force on your child’s teeth every time they switch to a new set of aligners. Over time, this moves their teeth into the desired position, just like tightening the wires on braces do. The similarity in the way they work enables Invisalign to achieve the same results as braces without negatively impacting your child’s self-confidence in their smile.
While Invisalign certainly improves the appearance of your child’s smile, the treatment is capable of benefiting your child’s oral and overall health as well as their confidence for the rest of their life. If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign Gainesville, such as, “How much does Invisalign cost?” or “How long does Invisalign take?” feel free to call our office and schedule an appointment at any time.