There’s no doubt that Invisalign has provided a fantastic option for many kids and young people seeking orthodontic treatment. The aligner trays are an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t like the look of traditional metal braces. It’s no surprise that many young people opt to wear them because they’re worried about how they’d look with traditional metal braces. Some people do become self-conscious in social situations when wearing regular braces. For many people, this is where Invisalign benefits begin and end. Of course, we all know that Invisalign aligners, just like regular braces, are great for straightening and moving teeth, but are there any other surprising benefits for young teens and kids? Even though Invisalign is often marketed as a better aesthetic choice, it turns out that there are some other surprising Invisalign benefits.
1. Extra Protection
When people play sports, they often wear a special mouth guard. Even though Invisalign trays are not intended for this function, they can actually provide some extra protection for the teeth because they fit over them closely.
Kids can have accidents at school or anywhere else. It’s not uncommon for a child to fall and smash a tooth on something hard. When they’re wearing Invisalign trays, the teeth have an extra layer of protection.
Likewise, if you or your child are grinding teeth at night, aligner trays can help to protect the teeth from damage (discussed further on). In fact, the final set of aligner trays could even become a custom tooth guard for many years after treatment has ended.
2. Speech and Pronunciation May Improve
Did you know that the way we pronounce words is closely related to the position of our teeth? A misaligned bite and teeth that are not straight can cause lisping or difficulty pronouncing some words. Many people probably don’t notice this as they talk.
As Invisalign aligners move the teeth into an optimal position, the end result is better pronunciation of many words because the teeth are in a much better position to accommodate the formation of certain words.
3. Easier Cleaning
Straighter teeth are also easier to clean. Flossing is easier and brushing is easier. Even your local general dentist will find that they are easier to clean. This also means less time spent with the dentist during check-ups and cleanings.
4. Improved Habits
When wearing Invisalign, it’s important to brush regularly and keep the aligners clean. This is all part of looking after them and maintaining good dental health. The benefit is that this improved cleaning routine can become a habit and continue long after the aligner trays have been worn for the last time.
Getting kids to clean can be tough on parents, but Invisalign can kick-start great dental health habits. This is one of the little-known Invisalign benefits that will surely appeal to parents!
5. Stop the Grinding
Grinding, or Bruxism, is a pretty common problem and is usually related to stress and anxiety. It often occurs overnight and can cause pain around the small muscles and connective tissues of the lower jaw. Pain in this Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) can often refer to the neck and the head, causing further symptoms.
By wearing Invisalign, the teeth not only have an extra layer of protection from grinding, but the realignment of the teeth and the change of the bite can help to reduce and eliminate grinding. Just wearing the aligner trays can help to break the grinding habit.
6. Improved Jaw Alignment
Wearing Invisalign is not just about the aesthetics of straightening teeth. Often, people with crooked teeth will also have a misaligned bite. This can cause other problems including TMJ pain, headaches, difficulty chewing food, and clicking of the jaw. If the jaw misalignment is not addressed, it can lead to other dental health problems.
As Invisalign aligner trays do their job, the teeth are moved into an optimal position. This also serves to improve a misaligned jaw and move it into a better position. The result is less pain and discomfort and a much better bite.
7. Improved Digestion
One of the less heralded Invisalign benefits is that wearing them can improve digestion. It might sound odd at first but there’s a good reason for it.
A poorly aligned jaw can lead to trouble chewing food properly. The first stage of digestion is proper chewing in the mouth so that the food can be digested more efficiently and effectively. If food is not chewed properly, it could mean that some of the nutrients are not being absorbed properly by the digestive system. As Invisalign aligner trays improve the jaw alignment and straighten teeth, they also improve the process of chewing and impact on digestion and nutrition. Food is broken down into smaller pieces, which makes it a lot easier for the digestive system.
Invisalign Benefits More Than Just Your Smile
While Invisalign is often sold on the basis of having a prettier smile and not having to worry about people noticing that they are being worn, the truth is that Invisalign benefits are numerous and often surprising
From an orthodontic perspective, an enhanced smile is just the tip of the iceberg. The biggest reason to wear braces or Invisalign is to correct an improper positioning of the jaw by moving teeth, and improving general health and well-being. This can have an effect on other aspects of health, including better dental care habits, improved digestion, elimination of grinding, better pronunciation, and less pain and discomfort around the jaw.
Importantly, having kids and young teens wear them means that they are less likely to develop dental health problems as they get older. In this sense, wearing Invisalign benefits more than just a straight smile.