Invisalign can be an excellent choice for teens, since the aligners are associated with less pain than braces and do not have that dreaded "metal mouth" look. However, wearing Invisalign does require some responsibility. Your teen will have to remember to take the aligners out before eating and brushing, and to put them back in on time. They will also have to remember to switch to a new aligner on the right date. Is your teen responsible enough for Invisalign? Here are three signs to look for.
1. Your teen takes care of his or her teeth without prodding.
Does your teen remember to brush and floss properly without you having to ask? This is a good sign that, if your teen were to get Invisalign, he or she would also take the initiative to care for the device and his or her teeth properly. Proper dental hygiene is essential when wearing Invisalign. Failing to brush the teeth properly could lead to yellowing of the aligners, not to mention cavities and gum disease. Thus, it's important to be sure your teen's dental hygiene practices are top-notch before allowing him or her to get Invisalign.
2. Your teen remembers once-a-month or once-a-week tasks on his or her own.
Every few weeks, your teen will have to take out the existing aligner and pop a new one into his or her mouth. Failing to change the aligners at recommended times could cause the teeth straightening process to take longer, so you want to make sure your teen is responsible enough to remember to make these changes. Does he or she remember other once-a-month or once-a-week tasks like changing contact lenses, completing assigned chores, or attending certain meetings? If so, this is a sign that your teen is ready for Invisalign.
3. Your teen lets you know when something is wrong.
Knowing when to tell a parent that something does not feel right is a sign of maturity. If something goes wrong with the Invisalign (your teen is experiencing pain, has lost the aligner, etc) you want to be confident that he or she will tell you so that you can address the issue. If your teen readily lets you know when he or she has a problem, rather than hiding the problem or making you "drag it out," this is a sign that your teen is responsible enough for Invisalign.
If your teen does not quite meet these criteria, be honest with him or her. Tell your teen that he or she can get Invisalign down the road, but only after demonstrating to you that he or she is responsible. This will give your teen something to work towards; you'll likely be impressed with the efforts put forth. For more information, visit http://accentdentalnwi.com/.