Your teen has a lot to learn about responsibility, so as a parent of a teen undergoing Invisalign treatment, there are some things you may have to do to ensure successful treatment. Our CCOA dentists explain.
Is Invisalign a Good Choice for My Teenager?
More teenagers than ever are choosing Invisalign for its discreet appearance and unrivaled convenience. However, it is important that your teenager wears their aligners as directed by their orthodontist. If the patient cannot keep up with their treatment plan, 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 must remove their Invisalign trays before they eat.
- Patients should not progress to the next set of aligners until their orthodontist directs them to do so.
- Patients will experience slight pressure on their teeth when switching to a new set of aligners.
- 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 will acheive 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 your job as a parent to 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.
Learn About Invisalign
If you had braces as a kid, unfortunately, your experience was way different than what your teen is about to go through. 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 or Pain
If your teen tells you that they are experiencing mild discomfort during their treatment, don't dismiss their pain. We all know how painful a single tooth ache can be, so imagine if your whole mouth is sore due to teeth shifting for months. There is likely to be some form of discomfort your child feels during treatment, so make sure you are understanding, 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.