As the parent of a teenager, you know that these are rough years! And, while your teen needs to get their teeth straightened, they are probably resisting the idea of braces. Enter Invisalign braces.
It shouldn’t come as any great revelation to you that your kid doesn’t want to wear metal braces. They probably scoffed at your suggestion, called you “old-school,” then slammed their bedroom door at the mere idea.
Am I right?
Think back to your own teenage years. The chances are that you, or somebody else you know, struggled through two to three years of traditional metal orthodontics. Let’s be real. These kids can be cruel about these things. Add to that, today the pressure is on to be Instagram worthy at all times—and until they come up with an “erase brace” filter, your teen will feel uneasy about their appearance, at best.
Aside from the benefit of the better-looking orthodontic option, you probably have other concerns about the efficacy of Invisalign braces. Today, we will look at the most commonly asked questions parents of teenagers have about the treatment.
Question 1 – How does Invisalign treatment work?
Invisalign braces aren’t “braces” at all. Instead, they are a set of removable clear aligners (also called trays) that are custom-fit to your teenager’s mouth using sophisticated 3D imaging technology. The trays are similar in appearance to the plastic retainers that you (or a friend or sibling) may have worn at the end of your own orthodontic treatment years ago.
When inserted in the mouth, the trays work similarly to traditional metal braces. They apply gentle, continual pressure to the jaw and teeth, forcing the shift needed to straighten the teeth. Over time, roughly every two weeks, your kiddo will visit the dentist and be refit for new trays as a progression of trays is needed to “keep the pressure on” the teeth.
Question 2 – How many hours per day should my teen wear Invisalign trays?
Invisalign treatment requires your teenager to wear his or her mouth trays for twenty-two hours per day, at a minimum.
As previously mentioned, this treatment works by applying enough force to shift the teeth into a more pleasing position gradually. If your teenager is not wearing the aligners for an ample number of hours per day, the treatment will not work effectively.
Twenty two hours is an ideal allotment of time as it allows sufficient time for your teenager to remove the trays for eating and hygiene needs.
Question 3 – My kid is an athlete. Is Invisalign safe?
That’s a great question. Invisalign is considered superior to metal braces for student athletes! This superiority results from the fact that there are no metal parts. No brackets, no wires. Your kid won’t have braces poking the inside of his cheek if he or she takes a smack in the face from a wild pitch, for example.
Additionally, if your child plays a contact sport, he or she can remove the trays during play and replace them after the game.
Question 4 – How should my teen perform oral hygiene with Invisalign?
One of the most advantageous reasons to wear Invisalign is the fact that patients can remove the liners to perform basic oral hygiene.
This fact is much better than metal braces. Indeed, metal braces patients are often disappointed to learn, at the end of treatment, that they have developed enamel discoloration due to the level of difficulty in cleaning well around the braces.
With Invisalign, your teen will be able to remove the trays to clean them as well as to brush and floss as usual. Don’t worry, though; the orthodontist will provide you and your teenager with all the critical dental care tips.
Question 5 – What are the food restrictions?
Parents and teenagers alike are always happy to hear that there are no specific food restrictions with Invisalign braces.
While you’re likely familiar with the list of foods that patients who wear metal braces can’t eat—popcorn, pretzels, taffy, etc.—Invisalign patients aren’t forced to deal with these rules. That’s because your teen will be permitted to remove the Invisalign liners at meal or snack times and store them away carefully.
After consuming their food, they should brush their teeth, rinse their trays, and place them back into their mouth.
Final Thoughts on Invisalign Braces and Teenagers
Parents of teenagers face enough challenges in raising their kids today—their child’s hang-ups over wearing braces need not be one of them. Invisalign makes orthodontic treatment less embarrassing without sacrificing efficacy.