Your teen is learning to be independent and responsible but it is still a parent's job to ensure their Invisalign treatment is going smoothly. Our Langley Straight Smile dentists discuss what you can do.
It isn't difficult to understand why teens might prefer the look and convenience of Invisalign over other orthodontic treatments. Orthodontics, under the right parental supervision, can be an effective treatment that gives them a confidence boost for the rest of their life.
Is Invisalign The Right Choice for My Teen?
Nowadays, more teenagers are choosing Invisalign for its discreet appearance and convenience. However, it is important that your teenager wears their aligners as directed by their orthodontist. If treatment is not followed properly their progress may slow down or reverse. For this reason, some teenagers may find that fixed braces are a better fit for their lifestyle.
If you’re wondering whether your teenager is a good fit for Invisalign Teen, consider these guidelines:
- Patients must wear their aligners for a minimum of 20-22 hours per day.
- Patients will experience slight pressure on their teeth when switching to a new set of aligners.
- Patients should not progress to the next set of aligners until their orthodontist directs them to do so.
- Patients must remove their Invisalign trays before they eat.
- Patients must clean their aligners as directed, as extreme temperatures or chemicals could damage or warp the plastic material.
As we’ve mentioned, failure to adhere to these guidelines will delay or reverse your teen’s tooth movement. That being said, if your teenager can stay committed to their treatment, Invisalign Teen may achieve amazing results for their smile.
How To Help Your Teen With Compliance
Your teen is learning more and more about responsibility every day, but it is still important that parents make sure they have to tools and guidance they need to be successful. Here are some tips that every partner can use to help their teen keep up with their teen's Invisalign treatment.
Be Informed About Invisalign
Even if you had braces as a kid, thanks to advancements in dental technology, your experience is likely going to be very different than what your teen might be going through. This is especially true if your teen has clear aligners instead of traditional braces. Clear aligners work differently than traditional metal braces, so it is important that both you and your teen learn everything you need to know about clear aligners. From proper cleaning methods to when and how long to wear them, the more you know about this particular orthodontic treatment, the more likely you will be able to encourage and motivate them should they feel as if it’s becoming “too much work.”
Don’t Dismiss Their Discomfort
If your teen lets you know that they have pain associated with their orthodontic treatment, don't dismiss their discomfort. Many of us have experienced the pain of a toothache, so put yourself in your teen's shoes. It's possible that their whole mouth is sore due to their teeth shifting for months. Make sure you are understanding, and empathetic, and know how to help relieve the pain. Whether it is with over-the-counter medicine or a cold compress, make sure they feel comfortable telling you when something doesn’t feel good.
Make Sure You’re Both Aware of the Expectations
While it is up to your teen to wear Invisalign aligners, you are still their parents, and it is you who is paying for treatment. If you want to avoid delays, it may work out better in the long run if you both are aware of the expectations that come with clear aligners. Your child will need to understand and agree to wear the trays for 20-22 hours each day as well as remove the aligners before eating, drinking, or cleaning them. They will also need to know to swap out their trays every 1-2 weeks to ensure their teeth continue moving in the right direction. As parents, you can help them to remember these things as well as remind them of the importance of adhering to these various instructions, especially if they want to achieve quicker results.
At some point during treatment, your teen may feel discouraged or want to stop treatment. Oftentimes, what starts as an exciting and positive course of action ends up becoming tedious, boring, or annoying. If you see that your teen is showing less and less interest in maintaining their smile, wearing their aligners, or taking care of their trays, remind them of how great they’ll feel once they are finished with treatment. Your continued support and encouragement will help them through the difficult times they face while wearing Invisalign and help them to stay focused on what lies ahead when they achieve a new and improved smile.