Living with crooked teeth is no fun at all. Even when you take into account that your smile never looks as good as you want it to, there is a matter of oral hygiene to consider. When we brush our teeth, when one or more teeth are out of alignment then the teeth that are behind the crooked ones never get cleaned quite properly. Even when you go to a dental office they can have a hard time getting those teeth clean, not to mention that they have been waiting between six months and a year for that proper cleaning (assuming, of course, that you are actually visiting the dentist as often as you should be doing). Sometimes those misaligned teeth stick out so much that they can cause difficulty eating or speaking in addition.
Now think about how having a misaligned smile can affect children. Early childhood is a time when confidence matters tremendously. For the child who has crooked teeth, there can be an experience where they are made fun of for their unappealing smiles. Children are mean to anyone who is different or “ugly”, and crooked teeth are an easy target for the cruelties of youth. When you are afraid to open your mouth because you have been made fun of, you just don’t get to participate the way that you should in school. And that is on top of the self esteem issues that come with doubts about your appearance. And all of that is in addition to the hygiene aspects discussed above.
Many people would say that having braces to correct their misaligned teeth can be even worse than the effect that the bad teeth themselves have. But now there are products like Invisalign that can be used to straighten teeth without using the ugly, embarrassing, and hard to clean metal braces that were used for so long. These devices work by gently turning the teeth in their sockets while the clear plastic dental covers are worn. They are pretty difficult to notice in the mouth while they are in, and can help a child be more confident in their teeth even before they are straightened since they can tell every day that they are working toward a great smile. The new, clear, removable braces mean that kids today get to have a smile that looks great forever (and is easy to clean!) while not having to go through the stigma of wearing those awful metal things. And that is a win for everyone involved – kids, parents, teachers, and even dentists!
It should be noted that Invisalign devices are not for absolutely everyone. Only a pediatric dentist should be the person who makes the final determination as to whether or not a given child should use something like Invisalign to straighten their teeth (or any system of braces, for that matter). Having regular professional care from the start is the best way to make sure that your child has a record of good oral hygiene.