Long Beach, CA – Invisalign is a wonderful orthodontic treatment option for many patients, and teens especially love it because of the clear, removable aligners. But one of the biggest reasons teens love it is also a reason that may cause worry for parents. If the aligners are removable, how can a parent know for sure that the teen is really wearing the aligners as they should?
In order to be the most effective, Invisalign aligners should be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day. That means only removing them when eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. We know that it can be tempting to remove them for a big occasion – a date, or class photos, etc. but once you find a reason to remove them one time, it might be easy to start finding even more reasons to start taking them out for a bit. We also know that sometimes you remove your aligners to eat and then quickly move on with your fast-paced day and forget to put them back in.
The good news is that the makers of Invisalign Teen factored this into their product. Every set of Invisalign Teen aligners are designed with compliance indicators directly on them. These indicators take the form of blue dots that fade over time with proper aligner wear. This shows the parents that the teen is being responsible and wearing the aligners as recommended, but is also a great tool for the orthodontist, as well.
When it comes to standard braces, we must take the patient’s word as to whether he or she is complying with elastic wear and following our recommendations. With Invisalign Teen, however, the compliance indicator shows us right away if a patient isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. If a patient is having a hard time remembering to wear the aligners and it is having a negative effect on the treatment’s progression, we can then discuss other options that might be a better fit.
Likewise, the compliance indicators can help us ensure the aligners are working as they should. Sometimes during orthodontic treatment, we can hit a bump in the road. The patient is doing everything they should, but the aligners aren’t tracking and treatment isn’t progressing as we had hoped. If the compliance indicators show us that the patient is wearing the aligners as recommended, but we aren’t seeing the progress we had hoped for, we can adjust our treatment plan to help the patient meet his or her smile goals.
When it comes to Invisalign treatment, it is important to remember what your ultimate goal is – a beautiful, straight smile that functions properly. That goal can only be achieved if the aligners are worn as recommended by your orthodontist. While Invisalign Teen is a great option, it is important to consider your level of maturity and responsibility before choosing this treatment.