Your teen is learning how to be responsible but it is still up to you as a parent to ensure that their Invisalign treatment plan is being followed. Our Delta Straight Smile dentists are here to help you help your teen.
We understand why teens might prefer Invisalign over other orthodontic treatment options. Invisalign, under the right parental supervision, can be an effective treatment that may give them a confidence boost for the rest of their life.
Is Invisalign Right for My Teenager?
More and more teens are choosing Invisalign as a more discrete and convenient option to traditional braces. It is important that your teen understands that even though Invisalign can be removed, they still have to wear them 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 follow these guidelines will cause delays or even reverse your teen’s tooth movement. If your teenager can stay committed to their treatment, Invisalign Teen may achieve amazing results for their smile.
How To Help Your Teen Comply With Invisalign Treatment
Your teen is still getting the hang of handling responsibility, so it is important for parents to help keep them accountable for their treatment. 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 child, your experience was likely 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 Any Discomfort They Might Have
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 toothache 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, 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 change to a new tray 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.
Stay Supportive Of Their Journey
Your teen might get to a point during treatment where they feel discouraged or want to stop. It is possible that what started as an exciting thing has become tedious and uncomfortable. If you notice that your teen is starting to show a disinterest in continuing their treatment, 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.