For any child or teen, fitting in can be challenging, especially when you’re going through orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, Invisalign is a discreet and more comfortable alternative to metal-bracket braces. There are a few specific things that can worry your teen when going back to school with Invisalign, so here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your child is set up for success.
- How to maintain good oral hygiene during the school day
It’s always important for your child to have good oral hygiene, but during any orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene is of higher importance. At a minimum, it is recommended your child brushes their teeth after every meal. Be sure to pack them a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, and encourage them to brush their teeth in the bathroom after lunch, or send a school excuse that they need a trip to the nurse’s office after eating. We understand this may be challenging to implement in their busy schedules, so we recommend in a pinch, swish really well with water or chew a piece of sugar-free gum for a few minutes to remove large food debris. They can then do a thorough brush when they get home.
As it is important to keep up with good brushing, flossing is just as important to clean the contacts in between the teeth. It is recommended to floss each night. To help encourage your child to regularly floss, we recommend getting floss picks. The handles tend to make flossing easier for kids and it will limit the amount of contact between fingers and mouth.
Oral hygiene not only applies to your teeth, but to the clear aligners as well. It is vital that your child continuously cleans their Invisalign aligners. Good practices include rinsing the aligners each time they are taken out before putting them into the case. Aligners should be brushed with a toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste each night. Aligners can also be soaked in retainer cleaning crystals a few times a week to keep them fresh.
- Eating during the school with Invisalign
Wearing aligners is a lifestyle change, especially when it comes to eating while at school. It might be challenging to encourage your child to take the aligners out at the lunch or snack times. If your child does not feel comfortable taking them out at the table, we encourage them to go into the bathroom to remove their aligners on the way to the cafeteria, place them in their case, and place their case in a safe location.
- Meeting the recommended wear time
Invisalign aligners simply won’t work if they are not worn for the recommended hours per day. This ensures the teeth are moving to the correct places in a specific amount of time. It may be helpful to remind your child that your orthodontist will know if your child is not wearing the aligners for the specific amount of time, since your teeth will not be adjusted as much as they expect. It is important for your child to know that if they are not wearing the aligners for the minimum amount each day, the longer the treatment process will take. We recommend batching snacks and meals rather than grazing throughout the day to minimize taking the aligners in and out. Since you can keep the aligners in while drinking plain water, we recommend sticking with water as your preferred drink throughout the day, saving other types of drinks for during meal times when the aligners are out.
Many parents understandably get nervous their child will not be compliant throughout treatment with Invisalign. Since Cooney Orthodontics is the top VIP Diamond Invisalign provider we have worked with thousands of Invisalign cases from age 7-80. We see great compliance with Invisalign throughout all age groups, and more importantly some amazing results with this more comfortable, lower maintenance, and predictable treatment process.