Over the summer, you could easily monitor your teen to ensure they were following all of their orthodontist’s recommendations, from brushing consistently to wearing their aligners for 22 hours a day. However, once they start the new semester, the responsibility of staying on track with their treatment timeline shifts solely to them. To set your child up for success, keep reading for four must-know back-to-school tips for teens with Invisalign.
#1. Buy a Protective Storage Case for Their Aligners
One of the reasons your teen was likely drawn to Invisalign was their discreet appearance. The only time their clear makeup is not an advantage is when their aligners get misplaced. The good news is that storing them in a brightly colored protective storage case can prevent them from breaking or getting accidentally thrown away in the trash can.
#2. Pack Them a Dental Care Kit
Once your teen begins Invisalign treatment, they will be expected to brush and floss their teeth after every meal, even lunch. This will keep their teeth (and aligners!) in pristine condition, preventing delays in their treatment plan. Therefore, pack them a dental care kit complete with a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.
#3. Help Them Practice Speaking Clearly Before School Starts
Although Invisalign is more discreet than traditional braces, their presence will be evident by the changes to your child’s speaking pattern. Fortunately, many teens don’t experience a learning curve at all. Those that do can speed up the process by reading aloud and practicing the more difficult words, like “sixty,” over and over again.
#4. Get Ahead of the Discomfort
Orthodontic treatment of any kind, including Invisalign, comes with some level of discomfort. Sadly, this discourages many teens from wearing their aligners for the recommended 22 hours a day. To make the transition to each new tray as seamless as possible, try the below best practices:
- Switch to new aligners right before bed (this will help them sleep through the most uncomfortable part).
- Use a cold compress to relieve soreness and temporarily numb the area.
- Stick to soft foods, like applesauce, yogurt, and oatmeal.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication as directed.
Starting a new semester comes with a number of changes for your teen. To prevent the schedule-shakeup from derailing their treatment timeline with Invisalign, keep the above tips in mind this back-to-school season!
About the Author
It was Dr. Krista Cayo’s own experience in the dental chair that inspired her to earn her dental doctorate at the School of Dental Medicine in Alton. Today, she has more than a decade of experience helping patients have the top-notch, enjoyable, smile-transforming dental care they deserve. To continue to provide her patients with only the best, she is an active member of multiple organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Missouri Dental Association. If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign, don’t hesitate to visit her website or give her a call at 636-928-9693.