Is your child preparing to start orthodontic treatment with Invisalign for teens? Do you worry they will forget to wear their trays or accidentally lose or break an aligner? Are you concerned their forgetfulness or carelessness will result in a delay in treatment? If so, you’re not alone. Let a local dentist share a few helpful tips that both you and your teen can use to make sure their teeth move in the right direction and achieve desired results.
Learn About Invisalign
If you wore braces as a teenager, you likely had a far different experience than the one your teen is about to experience. Invisalign aligners work differently than traditional braces, so both you and your child should take the time to learn everything you need to know about these 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
If your child complains of mild discomfort while wearing Invisalign aligners, do not dismiss or scoff at their pain. You know how agonizing a single toothache can be, so imagine all your teeth shifting throughout several 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 any delays, it is best 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 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 “give up.” 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.
If you or your teen would like additional tips and tricks to stay on track while wearing Invisalign, don’t be afraid to reach out to a member of your dental team. They’ll be happy to provide effective techniques to keep smiles moving in the right direction.
About the Author
Dr. Mariliza LaCap has more than two decades of experience working in the oral healthcare field. Completing her Aesthetic Advantage Certification at New York University, she went on to receive her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery, graduating in the top 10% of her class. At Washington Dental Associates, she is an Invisalign Elite Provider who is proud to offer helpful tips and tricks to ensure your teenager remains compliant while wearing these clear aligners. If you or your child require assistance or additional information on ways to avoid treatment delays, contact us at (201) 453-4863.