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Invisalign for Teens

Invisalign For Teens

mateer ortho commack braces invisalign teen

Teenagers these days have more than enough to worry about and keep track of without having to feel stressed out by their smile, too. Crooked teeth have the potential to keep them tight-lipped, but the thought of a mouth full of metal braces might be even more embarrassing to contemplate. Modern orthodontics have come a long way over the years, becoming less noticeable and more comfortable, but the stereotype has an enduring image of fussy wires and bulky brackets.

Fortunately, Invisalign Teen® is an excellent alternative treatment option for teens, and Mateer Orthodontics is proud to provide this for our patients! Let’s take a look at all the ways it can positively impact your teen’s smile and their life.

Invisalign® is Virtually Invisible

We can’t deny that image is important, especially in the teen years. Feeling like they fit in with their peers is a big part of a student’s self-esteem, and more traditional braces can make them stand out in ways they may not want to. Invisalign aligners are made of a smooth, clear plastic that is virtually impossible to see, and most people won’t even notice them. In fact, when Invisalign® conducted a Teen Confidence survey recently, they found that teens wearing Invisalign® were much less likely to be teased than those wearing traditional metal braces. That’s a pretty significant benefit!

Boost self-confidence

In the same Teen Confidence survey, results showed that teens wearing Invisalign® aligners were twice as likely to experience a boost in self-esteem while in treatment than teens wearing metal braces. Let’s face it, middle school and high school happen smack dab in the midst of hormonal craziness, and it doesn’t take much to be singled out. Clear aligners can help teens feel more confident in their appearance, allowing them to focus on the things that matter.

No food restrictions

Anyone who’s ever worn traditional braces can tell you that one of the hardest things to get used to is the dietary restrictions. Hard stuff, chewy stuff, crunchy stuff – there’s quite a list of items to steer clear of. Not only is it hard to part with their favorite snacks and treats, but so much socializing revolves around food that it can be extra awkward having to avoid what everybody else is enjoying around you.

With Invisalign Teen®, teens remove their aligner every time they eat or drink, which means there are no restrictions at all on what they can eat or drink!

In and Out

Although they’ve improved a great deal over the years, metal braces still have the capacity to hold you back from certain activities, or at least the potential to make it difficult to enjoy them thoroughly. Brackets and wires can make it hard to hit the right note when you’re playing an instrument, and it can be difficult to concentrate on scoring the game-winning goal if you’re afraid of what a ball to the face could do to your braces. That’s why we love recommending Invisalign Teen® to our athletic and musically inclined teen patients!

Because the aligners are removable, your teen can easily pop them out before an important concert or the big game. And since they’re made of smooth plastic, they don’t need to worry about any wires irritating the soft tissues of the mouth whether they’re making music or making magic on the field. Oh, and as an added bonus: athletes can comfortably wear their standard mouthguards since Invisalign is fully removable.

Keeping it clean

Brushing and flossing regularly should be a part of everyone’s dental hygiene routine, but it’s especially important for those undergoing orthodontic treatment. Traditional braces can make it a little more difficult since there are so many wires, brackets, and bands to navigate around and in between. But with Invisalign Teen®, teens will remove their aligner before brushing, making it easier to clean out all the nooks and crannies of the mouth successfully. And cleaning the aligner itself is a cinch, using only water and a soft-bristled toothbrush.


So, now you know that Invisalign Teen® has many benefits and very few restrictions, but you may be worried about how reliable your teen would be with a removable aligner. The system will only work if worn as directed, which is between 20-22 hours a day over the entire course of treatment. Can you trust your teen to maintain those kinds of hours?

The good news is that orthodontists consistently see that teens are at least as reliable as adults when it comes to wearing their Invisalign® aligner. They tend to average about 21 hours per day, which is right on target. But just in case you’re still skeptical, there are blue indicator dots to help you, your teen, and your orthodontist monitors their compliance.

How does Invisalign® work?

It’s a straightforward process! Once we fit your teen for their Invisalign® aligner, they’ll wear each one for approximately 1-2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As we replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teen’s teeth will shift week by week until they have straightened to the final desired position.

Plan to visit our practice about once every 6-8 weeks to ensure your teen’s treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time typically lasts anywhere from 9 to 15 months, and the number of clear aligners worn during this period is between 18 and 30, but treatment time and aligners used will always vary from case to case.

Choosing Mateer Orthodontics as your Invisalign® Teen provider

Dr. Mateer

It’s important to choose an experienced orthodontist to start and oversee your teen’s treatment. The training and expertise our team has, for instance, will help to ensure the most favorable outcome possible! Each smile that we create here at Mateer Orthodontics starts with a free orthodontic evaluation. This complimentary consultation will give you the chance to meet our team, learn more about orthodontics, and find out what treatment options will best meet your teen’s needs.

Our goal is to make you and your family feel comfortable with our team and to make sure we answer all of your questions and concerns.

At Mateer Orthodontics we strive to not only provide the best possible orthodontic treatment to our patients but also to build a relationship with you and your teen that will put you both at ease! If you’re in the Commack or surrounding area and have wondered if your child could benefit from an orthodontic treatment like Invisalign® Teen, get in touch today to schedule their free initial evaluation.

We’re looking forward to helping your teen discover their best, most beautiful smile!


What is Orthodontics? Commack, NY,

What is Orthodontics?

Mateer Orthodontics, Commack, New York
Dr. Scott Mateer – Mateer Orthodontics

With so many different titles for dental professionals, it can be hard to nail down exactly what each really means. This confusion is completely understandable, since most health professionals share common aims, and all dental professions work in some capacity with the mouth. The principle similarity between each branch of dentistry is our shared goal: to keep people healthy and happy with the way they look. That said, we each have our own specialty; each branch has a unique, extensive body of knowledge attached that makes its mastery a lifelong commitment. The mouth is a complicated place, and the best way to care for it is with multiple specialists who know whatever there is to know about a specific problem, area, or treatment. Of course, each individual dentist has a comprehensive framework of knowledge on which to build this specialization. Let’s take a moment to define some specialties.


General DentistOrthdontics, Commack, New York

You might compare a general dentist to a primary care doctor in general medicine. At these offices, you’ll find healthcare services like teeth cleaning, cavity filling, root canals, etc. They keep your teeth healthy and looking great. As you might have guessed, general dentists have obtained a doctorate and have gone through a licensure process. Make sure to see your dentist at least once a year; we recommend stopping by every six months. Just like any other field in healthcare, more monitoring means a better chance of catching problems before the progress very far.

Periodontist and Maxillofacial Surgeon

These fields of dentistry deal with specific, specialized challenges. In fact, most people will never see a periodontist or maxillofacial surgeon. If you do need their services, though, their expertise is invaluable. A periodontist specializes in the care of what’s called periodontium. This includes alveolar bone, gums, and ligaments. Mostly, they help fight diseases resulting from bacterial infections. Maxillofacial surgeons specialize in surgical care for periodontium and other facial bones. They often see patients who’ve had facial injuries resulting from physical trauma, bacterial infections, and cancers of the neck or mouth. These specialists often work closely together to create comprehensive treatment plans.


Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. The importance of orthodontic care and a knowledgeable orthodontist cannot be overstated. To be a licensed orthodontist, one must attend an ADA-accredited orthodontic residency program.  These are usually three additional years of full-time training.  For example, Dr. Mateer completed his undergraduate studies at Marist College, with a Bachelors Degree in Biology. He attended Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, where he graduated at the top of his class. Upon completion of his dental degree, he then attended Montefiore Medical Center where he received his specialty certificate in Orthodontics. Here he underwent extensive training in Orthodontics on patients of all ages using the most state of the art techniques. He is also a member of the American Association of Orthodontics and the American Dental Association. Dr. Mateer with patient


While orthodontics does address cosmetic issues, there are many issues that orthodontists treat that are essential to ensuring proper oral health for you and your family. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can detract from one’s appearance, but more importantly, crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean. This puts your teeth at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease. The misalignment can also cause extra stress on certain enamel surfaces, which can chip or break down.

Outside of general dentists, orthodontists are the most commonly seen dental professionals. That’s because many people deal with misaligned teeth and jaws, which is what an orthodontist specializes in. Any time you see someone with braces or clear aligners on their teeth, they’ve more than likely been to an orthodontist. 


Why Orthodontics Is Important for You and Your Family

When a patient comes in for his or her first consultation, our team will precisely diagnose orthodontic issues and offer solutions that workmost effectively. Many times, our patients need these treatments to avoid physically painful symptoms.

If you have any of the following issues, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:

  • Overbite, sometimes called “buck teeth” — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth
  • Underbite — a “bulldog” appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
  • Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
  • Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
  • Misplaced midline — when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
  • Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not “fill up” the mouth
  • Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate

 It’s not all about appearances here—misaligned teeth and malocclusions (irregular bites) can lead to the following:

Hygiene Problems

When teeth are pushed together in ways they shouldn’t be, it can lead to increased plaque build-up and tooth decay. While regular dental cleanings can prevent some of this, it’s best to look into all the options, such as straightening your teeth, in order to decrease the chances of a tooth extraction becoming necessary

Under Pressure

Crooked teeth and misaligned bites can result in teeth grinding. It’s important to identify and stop this habit early. Orthodontists provide solutions for those who grind their teeth unconsciously during the night. Other malocclusions—especially crossbites—result in increased pressure on certain molars, and the underlying tissue and bone. More pressure means inflammation, and increased chances of infection. Yikes!

Along with these and other physical symptoms, orthodontic issues can also substantially affect a patient’s self-esteem. This can be more serious than it seems at first. For many, the development of crooked teeth at a young age shapes the way they think about their smile, and ultimately their self-image. Most don’t think consciously about these effects, but that doesn’t mean their behavior isn’t influenced. Perhaps a person doesn’t smile where they might have if their teeth were straight. To prevent both physical and psychological effects, Mateer Orthodontics provides non-invasive solutions like Invisalign, as well as traditional braces. 

Family smiling looking down

Come See Us At Mateer Orthodontics!

Outside of visits to your general dentist, we recommend regular check-ups with an orthodontist to ensure a straight, healthy set of teeth. Regular check-ups may allow us to prevent problems before they get very far along, especially in adolescents and children. It all starts with an initial consultation, and we’d love to see you! Give our Commack, New York office a call at 631.462.1970, or drop us a line here.

Mateer Orthdontics, Commack, New York

girl smiling with braces

Braces vs Invisalign

Have you thought about the benefits of Braces or Invisalign? Do you want to update your smile for a confidence boost? Maybe your child needs some attention to their oral care?  Whichever the decision, having an experienced Orthodontist working beside you is important. That’s why Mateer Orthodontics is here to help; we can guide you through the different options that are available to you and make your smile the talk of the town.

Basics of Braces and Invisalign

Teen girl with Invisalign aligner in handWe currently have two treatments that you can decide between when correcting your teeth, Braces or Invisalign. Both are designed to straighten teeth over time while improving your smile and overall oral health.  Braces are the more traditional approach and have been around for quite a while now. Invisalign is a much newer treatment option, having only been widely used for the last fifteen years or so, but the system continues to increase in popularity.

So what’re the differences?

Well, traditional braces consist of metal brackets, wire and rubber bands to straighten your teeth and is slowly adjusted over time to create that perfect smile. It has advanced to the point where it is less noticeable, more comfortable and can be made to look like the color of your enamel.  However, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, you may choose to make them a fashion accessory and decide on different colors such as pink, blue or even neon green.

Invisalign uses X-rays, pictures, and impressions are taken to create a precise 3-D image of your teeth which is then used to customize your aligners. The clear aligner trays are made of smooth plastic and worn over the teeth, and they are switched out every 1-2 weeks for a new tray as your teeth gradually move. It has two upsides versus traditional braces which are that they are almost entirely invisible and removable.

How do they compare?


So as you may have guessed braces are not removable.  Traditional braces focus on the functionality versus the style of them, even though it can be fun to change the colors.  With that being said braces are extremely efficient at what they do. Which is to at fix complex tooth issues, and they often work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than Invisalign.

While treatment time will vary from patient to patient, the average with braces tends to be anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. However, with metal braces, there’s often the noticeable movement of misaligned teeth within a relatively short period. And when you start to see even the slightest improvement in your smile, you will feel a huge boost of to your self-confidence and a desire to stay the course!

Close up of clear bracesThe maintenance required for metal braces can be a little bit more involved than it is with Invisalign. The brackets and wires can be tricky, particularly where flossing is concerned, but regular, thorough dental hygiene is a must for good oral health. There are accessories available to make cleaning easier, though, like Water-Piks that can help rinse those hard to reach places or orthopedics for braces-specific flossing. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few foods you’ll need to avoid while in braces, just about anything that is too crunchy or sticky. Sadly, this means favorites like apples, popcorn, gum, and other chewy favorites will be little more than a fond memory while you’re finishing up your treatment.

Patients wearing traditional braces can expect to have followed up visits about every 4-6 weeks. At these times your orthodontist will change the bands that are attached to the brackets and may replace the wire as well. These appointments are a quick process, usually taking about half an hour to an hour.  There may be some slight soreness after each adjustment, but it should be temporary. These visits shouldn’t be missed! They’re crucial to ensure you get the very best results in the least amount of time.


There are two main benefits of Invisalign aligners, they are almost completely invisible, and that they are removable. They also tend to be more comfortable than traditional metal braces, because the aligners are made of a smooth plastic, and they won’t irritate the gums or cheeks as much as the brackets and wires do. Invisalign is an efficient method for gently moving teeth in cases that are not too complicated.

Invisalign is the least invasive treatment for straightening teeth than braces. However, it’s hard to say how long a patient will need them. The average is somewhere between 6 and 18 months, though of course, that will vary from case to case. This average is also based on the patient sticking to the recommended guidelines of wearing the aligners at least 20-22 hours every single day, throughout the entirety of treatment. Any deviation from this can add time to the process.

Young woman with clear bracesAnother decisive factor for Invisalign is that they are extremely easy to take care of and maintain. Since they are removable, you take them out before you eating and drinking, other than water. This takes away the hassle of food getting stuck in the brackets and wires of traditional braces.  This also means that keeping up with regular oral care is far easier as well, flossing and brushing your teeth with easy access.  Also cleaning the Invisalign trays is quite simple as well, you can get a cleaning system, or you can just clean them with warm water.

Like braces, if you choose Invisalign, you’ll be expected to attend follow-up visits every 4-6 weeks, but you’ll also be changing out your aligner every two weeks. This is an important part of the straightening process. The trays are custom designed to fit each patient’s unique needs and are changed every two weeks to keep up with the shift in the movement of your teeth. Skipping appointments or not changing aligners when you’re scheduled to can undo progress.

It is a close contest when comparing Invisalign and braces. For both Adults and teens, the discrete look of Invisalign, as well as the removability, can be incredibly appealing. However, it’s important to note that the success of Invisalign is highly dependent on the patient’s using the trays on a consistent basis.  If you don’t wear them as directed, they won’t work.  With the traditional braces route, you don’t have a choice of removing them and may have more success because so. It is also important to remember that if you have a complex dental issue Invisalign may not even be an option.

That is why it is important to work with an experienced practice like Mateer Orthodontics.  Our team friendly and professional, with extensive experience in both Invisalign and braces.  If you are in Suffolk County and surrounding areas Mateer Orthodontics and need help on deciding between traditional braces or Invisalign we are here to help, get in touch with us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.  Mateer Orthodontics is dedicated to making your smile one that you are proud of and that others can’t forget!

Author: Dr. Mateer


Scott Mateer Opens new Orthodontics office.

Dr. Scott Mateer has opened up his own practice right on Long Island, offering the Long Island community another great choice when searching for an experienced and trustworthy orthodontist. However, Dr. Mateer brings even more to the table than the average orthodontic with his outgoing personality, innovative approaches, and state-of-the-art training/experience. In fact, Dr. Mateer’s age is the very thing that sets this orthodontist apart from all of the rest.

Dr. Scott Mateer’s experience in the field of dentistry and orthodontics is quite remarkable and truly noteworthy. Dr. Mateer knew he wanted to make a difference in life and began his journey towards the field of medicine, while attending Marist College in New York. There, he majored in Biology, but found himself even more intrigued by the world of medicine. He then continued his education at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine and graduated at the top of his class. Craving more education and training, this young, ambitious man pushed even harder, attending Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. It was at Montefiore Medical Center where Dr. Mateer chose to specialize in orthodontics, enduring a rigorous and extensive training program, and excelling every step of the way. After graduating, Dr. Mateer joined an extraordinary team of orthodontists, which he considers an incredible experience and opportunity to continue to learn while further refining his skills.

Now, Dr. Scott Mateer has taken his experience and knowledge to a new level, in order to fulfill a personal dream, giving even more to the community – he opened his own practice. Dr. Mateer prides himself on his youth as he is fortunate to be one of the few who are trained and experienced in the most recent technological advancements and approaches in the field. Dr. Mateer has the skill, experience, and opportunity to offer his patients what others cannot, including diverse options, in effort to address the needs of his patients and ensure the best treatment/experience possible.

Everything Dr. Mateer encompasses and stands for is reflected through Mateer Orthodontic’s website, The site takes a unique approach, as the home page displays adolescents with braces or beautiful smiles, as well as a picture of himself, his wife, and their two dogs, immediately portraying him as an outgoing, personable individual, who loves working with children. The site provides viewers with his credentials, an explanation of services, as well as orthodontic options. However, the website displays several, unique components which make it clear that Dr. Mateer wants to make every patient’s experience as pleasurable as possible. The site includes a question submission section, a link for patients to schedule his/her appointment online, and even a link to the “New Patient Form” so patients (or the parents/guardians) have the option to print and fill out the paperwork, ahead of time.

In all truth and honesty, a person’s face, especially his/her smile is one of the most important things in regards to physical attributes. Long Island communities are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Scott Mateer as an option when choosing an orthodontist because it is very rare that a doctor such as Dr. Mateer comes around. Aside from his extensive experience, Dr. Scott Mateer has a unique energy, ambition, and love for his profession, while going above and beyond to develop positive, trusting relationships and creating connections with all of his patients, young and old.