Preparing your teen for Invisalign

Invisalign teen preparationGetting braces can be somewhat intimidating for teenagers.  They really don’t know what to expect and they may be somewhat nervous about what their friends will say.  The entire process can go much more smoothly if you prepare your teenager ahead of time.

Invisalign does the work of traditional metal braces but the process is quite different.  Rather than using brackets and wires to straighten the teeth, Invisalign uses clear plastic trays to align the teeth.  It begins in much the same way: with X-rays and impressions.  This step provides Owl Orthodontics with important information about the current condition of your child’s teeth and serves as the basis for creating the custom-made aligning trays.  The first tray will begin the process of straightening the teeth, the next tray will continue where the first one left off, and so on.  As a result of the gradual nature of Invisalign, the straightening process is much more comfortable.

Traditional metal braces can make teenagers self-conscious in many ways, including when they eat.  Food can get caught in the brackets and wires.  This can be frustrating and embarrassing; the frustration is compounded by the fact that many foods are off-limits.  In contrast, Invisalign trays are removed at mealtimes; this eliminates both the anxiety associated with eating and the food restrictions.  These factors can be very reassuring for a teenager who is already self-conscious on many levels.

The aligning trays are clear and this reduces feelings of self-consciousness in another important way: rather than broadcasting the straightening process, Invisalign means straightening teeth doesn’t have to be so obvious.

Remind your teenager about the importance of good oral hygiene.  Brushing and flossing are as simple and straightforward as ever because your child will remove the aligning trays to brush and floss.

Invisalign does the work of traditional metal braces but it is a more comfortable method that allows your teenager to avoid advertising the reality of teeth straightening.  The process will be easier for your child if you seem comfortable with it; although teenagers want to seem completely independent, they still seek parental cues.  So, if you have any last-minute questions or concerns, now is the time to address them.  If you are calm and comfortable, your teen will pick up on that.

Finally, your teenager may have concerns about whether Invisalign can be as effective as traditional metal braces.  You can provide reassurance that this method of straightening teeth is effective with a variety of orthodontic issues, including crowding or too much spacing, as well as with a crossbite, overbite, or underbite.  However, in order for Invisalign to be effective, your teenager must wear the aligning trays all the time, except during meals and when brushing or flossing the teeth.

The staff members at Owl Orthodontics are always happy to answer questions or address any concerns.  In fact, if you have any questions regarding Invisalign Teen or any other orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us.