As a teenage survivor of metal braces, I was amazed when I saw Tina Fey wearing clear braces on the popular TV show, 30 Rock. Was this possible? How could this be? It brought back memories of my experience of getting braces when I was a teen. I “oh so fondly” remembered my teeth straightening experience. Who could forget the metal brackets, the poking wires, the different size and color rubber bands, the inner mouth irritation, not to mention the special joy my new nickname, “Tinsel Teeth” brought to my teenage years.
30 Rock is about an hour’s drive from where I grew up on Long Island. The show got me to remembering my many years of teeth straightening challenges. I began doing a little research on the invisible braces I saw Tina Fey wearing, as I have several pre-teen nieces and nephews that will be getting braces. Crooked teeth, not straight teeth are a family trait in our clan. When I saw these clear braces, I was really happy at the possibility that the teens in my family would be spared the heavy metal experience.
I found out that at that time, the Invisalign system, the name of these clear braces, were only available as braces for adults. Bummer. Oh well, I thought, we’ll just have to use our family’s secret weapon to get through the teeth straightening process- humor!
Well, not too long ago the tension relieving, joke cracking began in my family as my eldest niece began her process of looking into getting braces. We searched the net, looked at pictures, searched for dentists, laughed a lot, and cried some and then a miracle happened…
Invisalign announced their new product, Invisalign for Teens!
My niece went to an Invisalign dentist, had an exam and found out that in her case invisible braces could be used to straighten her teeth. It was a very happy, jump up and down day! She was ready to begin and had her impressions taken for her clear braces that day.
In a few weeks she went back for her initial fitting and got her first set of clear custom aligners. How the system works is that she wears these clear braces, called aligners, for about 22 hours a day.
They really are basically invisible. Socially, it’s been a big relief for her at school not to have a mouth full of metal. The aligners are taken out for eating, brushing/flossing and worn the rest of the time. About every 2 weeks, she goes back to her Invisalign dentist to get her new set of aligners for the next 2 weeks. In her case she’ll be done with her treatments in a little over a year. Pretty amazing!
Parents and teens facing the challenge of getting braces are finding it a much easier process than they had ever imagined. Invisalign is not for everyone and the good news is most people can be helped by this system. Do a little research and when you’re ready, make an appointment for an exam and consultation to determine if clear braces are for you. There are many highly qualified Invisalign dentists all over the country. If you’re a Long Island resident, you can check out the resource box below for more information. Miracles do happen; who would have imagined “clear braces”… Nowadays, getting braces can be so easy; it’s as if they weren’t there. Thank you, Invisalign.