The start of the school year is a time for new beginnings, but if your teen has Invisalign, it’s important to prioritize the proper maintenance and hygiene routine. While Invisalign can straighten out a smile without the metal parts and dietary restrictions that come with traditional braces, it requires daily effort even during the school year. Here are some back-to-school tips to help teens keep up with their treatment and achieve great results.
Invisalign During Lunch Period
Invisalign’s clear aligners carry no dietary restrictions because they must be removed when eating or drinking anything aside from regular water. However, they can cause temporary soreness or sensitivity when the patient switches from one set to another. If your teen is complaining about dental discomfort, try packing lunches with softer foods like soup, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. Your teen should also take care to bring their aligner case to school with them so their aligner can be properly stored during lunch.
Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene at School
Throughout the school day, your teen will be eating lunch and snacking constantly, meaning that food debris and bacteria can become trapped between the teeth and aligners if they don’t practice good oral hygiene. A teen, like any Invisalign patient, should stick to the following routine every day:
- Remove the clear aligners when eating, drinking, or performing hygiene. Rinse and clean the aligners every time they are taken out.
- Brush after every meal and before re-inserting trays.
- Use dental floss after every meal.
- Rinse with antibacterial mouthwash every day.
To make this easier at school, a teen should have a travel-ready oral hygiene kit that includes toothpaste, a toothbrush, and dental floss.
Working Around the Self-Consciousness
Teens with Invisalign are required to wear their retainers for at least twenty-one hours a day, but self-consciousness can get in the way for some. Even though Invisalign is virtually undetectable while being worn, it can still sometimes impact a teen’s self-esteem/confidence. Wearing the clear aligners adds another layer of mass to your teeth, which can cause a patient to speak with a lisp especially if they are not used to wearing their current tray. The best way to remedy this is for your teen to practice enunciating difficult words outside of social situations.
All teens want to look good at school, and with some effort and dedication, Invisalign treatment can help them do just that. After a few semesters of dutifully wearing clear aligners, your teen could spend senior year or start college with a killer smile.
About the Author
Dr. William “Vaughn” Holland graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Florida College of Dentistry before being selected for an exclusive five-year dual specialty program in prosthodontics and orthodontics. He currently serves as a member of the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, and the American Association of Orthodontists. His office in Jacksonville, FL offers traditional braces, ceramic braces, orthognathic surgery, and Invisalign. For more information on helping your teen with their Invisalign treatment, contact the office online or dial (904) 388-4600.