The Women's Journal

Aligner Therapy Can Really Work For Teens

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pip greeley 1qt19By Dr. M. Constance Greeley

If you happened to catch my column in the previous edition of The Womens’ Journal (fourth quarter, 2019), you saw a few great examples of how well aligners can solve common orthodontic issues for adults. But can we also convince teens to be dedicated to wearing aligners, not to lose them and to achieve results equivalent to those achieved by teens who wear braces? Well, it turns out that it is possible. Furthermore, treatment time can be less with aligners than it is with braces. 

Good treatment planning begins with a medical and dental history review, a thorough patient exam, and a heart-to-heart discussion regarding the patient’s and parents’ goals. Our teens are quite aware of digital advancements. In fact, most adults work hard to narrow the generation gap by striving to understand how computers do what they do for us. But for our kids, it’s second nature. They are not at all surprised to see our computer simulations showing how teeth move. The graphics are highly motivating for teens and create a tangible idea of how their smile and teeth will transform after using aligners. Teens easily identify with the cutting-edge efficiency of the new technology.

Still, parents worry that aligner treatment could become one more thing they must monitor at home. In our experience, however, we note that teens are quite dedicated to wearing their aligners. They don’t misplace or lose them as much as our adult patients do!

As it is with adults, aligners give teens direct access to their teeth for optimal cleaning, with no worries about food selection, and, consequently, no breakage. Although an occasional hook for elastic wear may come off, poking wires are a thing of the past.

Once we see that the teen patient is wearing the aligners well, visits are spaced out to longer intervals. This lessens the pressure of working parents to navigate around sports and other after-school commitments.


Dr. Connie Greeley went to Temple University School of Dentistry where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. She earned her certification in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Maryland and then returned to Temple University for her certification in Orthodontics.

Dr. Greeley is board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. She serves on the Cleft Palate Team at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. Dr. Greeley is past-president of the Delaware State Dental Society, the Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists, and the Greater Philadelphia Society of Orthodontics. She is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists.

In the next two colums you will see some typical cases of teen treatment.

Transform your life with a beautiful smile at:

Greeley Orthodontics, PA

400 Old Forge Lane, Suite 406

Kennett Square, PA 19348


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