For my entire career as an orthodontist, parents ask me daily, “Does my child need braces?” My answer is always the same, “If you think your child needs braces, they probably do, and if you think your child doesn’t need braces, you’re probably right as well!” Since the advent of clear aligners like Invisalign and SmileDirectClub, I’ve been asked thousands of times if Invisalign or SmileDirectClub are appropriate for teenagers. My answer to this question is just as consistent: probably!
But since every case is overseen by a duly licensed dentist or orthodontist and each customer has an individualized plan, the only way to find out for sure if SmileDirectClub is the way to go for your child or teenager is to submit photos and other records. The good news is that submitting your child’s case for review takes just a few minutes and is very easy.
I can tell you that children and teens who still have baby teeth, who have impacted adult teeth, who have cavities, or who have gum disease are unlikely to be treated by SmileDirectClub doctors until these issues are addressed. Every SmileDirectClub customer is required to be current with their family dentist to ensure their safety. If you have questions about any of these conditions, you can ask your dentist at your next visit.
Good oral health is vital whether or not you plan on getting your child’s teeth straight. Seeing your dentist every six months is a very good idea no matter what. I can also tell you from experience that most of the teen cases I review as an orthodontist for SmileDirectClub are appropriate. If your child has clean teeth with no cavities that need treatment, the odds are very good that SmileDirectClub can give your child straighter teeth and an improved smile.
SmileDirectClub is very effective at straightening and aligning crooked teeth – which is what most people want, in my experience. The aligners do not use rubber bands or headgear to address overjet. There is no tooth removal with SmileDirectClub cases. Our aligners straighten the teeth your child was born with but will not attempt to change the jaws. Nor will they change the bite in the way that traditional orthodontics seeks to do. This is an important fact to know and understand. If you are concerned with your child’s bite, then it’s a good idea to also visit an orthodontic specialist for a consultation before deciding who will treat your teen’s teeth.
I hope this has been useful and helped answer the questions I know parents have. You can click here to have access to a Q&A about SmileDirectClub I did a couple weeks ago. Good luck to you and your child – everyone deserves a great smile!
Dr. Burris is an orthodontist, educator, futurist, writer, speaker, philanthropist, activist, patient advocate, husband, and father. For more from Dr. Burris, visit his personal blog: http://orthopundit.com/.