Has your dentist or orthodontist mentioned Invisalign to help care for your teen’s teeth? Then we are speaking to you! At Sycamore Orthodontics, Dr. Sarah is an expert at handling children’s growing dental needs, and Dr. B understands how essential it is to get your child started off with a straight and aligned smile. You can trust our team to help you and your child get the best care possible in Sycamore!
Of all the treatments out there, we have seen teens have great success with Invisalign retainers. These clear aligners are super convenient to wear, with the added perk of being nearly invisible. No wonder so many teenagers prefer them to standard metal braces these days! But before we jump in, you probably have some questions about how teens and the responsibility of retainers might mix.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Invisalign?
As previously described, Invisalign is made up of a series of clear retainers that your child will wear over their upper and lower teeth. These aligners need to be worn at all times, aside from when they are eating, drinking, or brushing their teeth. That might sound like a lot, but it quickly becomes the norm.
Every week or so, your child will swap out their current retainer with a new one. Each new retainer will slowly shift their teeth until the doctor confirms that their treatment is finished. This all takes some time, typically six to 18 months, depending on the unique needs of each patient.
Compared to braces that stay on your teeth permanently during treatment, Invisalign is convenient since they are removable and do not require anyone to change their diet or hygiene routine. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few new skills and habits learned along the way. Let’s discuss some ideas for how a teen might be successful with their Invisalign treatment at home and at school.
Tips for Invisalign
When your teen is leaving the house, they should have a retainer case on them. Whether that’s in their backpack or lunch box, having a case means that they can easily pop their retainers in them when they are eating and drinking. This will greatly reduce the risk of accidentally losing a retainer and lead to you searching in the school dumpster!
You’ll want to have your teen practice the habit of always putting their retainer back in once they have removed them. Something as simple as a daily alarm on their phone after lunchtime can help get them into the habit of wearing their retainer at all times. They should be wearing them about 22 hours a day, so practicing the right times to take them out and put them back in will be essential for success.
We recommend that your teen scrub out their retainer at least once a day. Using a toothbrush and hand soap, give them a good scrub inside and out, and then rinse them well. Aside from that basic brushing practice, it’s a good idea for them to rinse their retainers out after they remove them. For example, as they walk into the cafeteria for lunch, they can go straight to the restroom, rinse their retainers, and put them in their case for safekeeping. That way, when they go to put them back in, they will be fresh and clean, without dried saliva stuck to them.
It’s a good idea to make sure that your child’s teachers and staff know that they are wearing their retainers so that they can keep an eye on them. Even the most responsible teens can be forgetful sometimes, so it’s a good plan to have more adults in their lives supporting their success!
Hydration is always important, but it is especially so when your teen is wearing Invisalign. A dry mouth can consequently dry out the retainers, making them uncomfortable and smelly. Their hygiene and comfort will be improved through regular water consumption. One of the best ways to encourage regular drinking is by getting them a cool water bottle that they like carrying around.
In case there is any chafing around the edges of the aligners and the gums, have your child carry orthodontic wax with them. You can get some from our office, and it’s so easy to use. Your child can just press it along the seam of the retainer that makes them uncomfortable, and it will dull the pain immediately!
Trust Your Teen’s Teeth to Sycamore Orthodontics!
Having a team that you trust is the first step toward an amazing smile transformation. Schedule a free consultation appointment with us to get started. It really is simple to launch an entirely new future for your child and their smile. Give our Sycamore office a call today!