If your teen has been informed that he or she would benefit from braces, they may have asked whether there’s a less conspicuous way of obtaining a straighter smile. While you might have embraced metal braces throughout your teen years, these days, they’ve come a long way. Although conventional braces are still the popular option, they don’t feel or look the way they used to. These days, we’re witnessing an increase in the number of people using clear aligners. This is thanks to technological improvements that permit more patients to use them successfully. If you’re worried about whether your teen is wearing their aligners, here’s how to tell.
How to Tell if Your Teen is Wearing Their Aligners
Patient compliance is vital to success in aligners (such as Invisalign). Ideally, your teen should wear their aligners 22 hours daily for effective treatment.
Keep in mind that the some products feature a ‘Compliance Indicator’, for example, a blue dot. As your teen wears his or her aligner, the dot should fade over time from blue to clear. This permits you, your teen, and their orthodontist to obtain a visual cue of approximate wear duration.
Your orthodontist will also be able to tell when you bring your teen to the clinic for checkups. If he or she is progressing at the appropriate rate, it will be apparent that they’ve been diligent about wearing the appliance as much as possible.
In the event that progress is lagging, this could indicate that he or she hasn’t been wearing them as frequently as they should have been. If we discover treatment is way behind, we can assume it is the lack of wearing aligners as recommended.
Another exciting way to determine how well your teen is wearing their aligners is via Remote Monitoring. Using a Smartphone App, your teen can scan their own teeth and receive feedback about whether or not there has been sufficient change to allow them to advance to the next aligner.
Remote monitoring is a great way to motivate your teen. If they wear their aligners well, they can move through their treatment more quickly. They also know every minute in the aligners counts – there is no need to change to the next one at an arbitrary date by which we assume the teeth will have moved – they can advance as soon as they are ready!
How to Help Your Teen
How thrilled your teen is about obtaining braces could affect his or her attitude about adopting the measures to ensure success.
Whether aligners like Invisalign or conventional braces, the patient’s treatment success is greatly dependent on how seriously he or she takes flossing, brushing and avoiding certain foods, among other important oral habits.
If your teen doesn’t adopt the appropriate habits immediately, maintain patience as you remind them of what’s required to ensure a successful treatment.
It can be easy to become complacent about your teenager’s orthodontic care once it is underway. However, you should try remain involved. Remind your teen to replace the aligners after meals, cleaning teeth and after any sport activities. Encourage your teen to keep the aligners safe in their protective case when they are not being worn. This is to prevent damage to (or loss of) the aligners and thereby avoid any delays to treatment.
Aligners can provide your teenager with a beautiful smile without metal braces. Nevertheless, compliance is crucial to ensure a successful treatment. Fortunately, you can identify whether your teen is wearing their retainers. Try to find ways to help him or her to remember to wear their aligners during treatment for best results.