Invisalign Treatment Tips & Insight
*I have joined the Invisalign Clear Aligner Mom’s Panel. My daughter’s treatment has been provided in trade for our honest review. This is our story.
My daughter, Lucy started her Invisalign treatment journey about four months ago.
SO FAR SO GOOD!
My Tween’s Invisalign® Treatment: Tips & Insight
Have there been bumps in the road?
Have either my daughter or me wished she’d have gone with traditional braces?
If I’ve discovered one thing it’s this: the orthodontic journey is full of twists and turns. There are limitations and hiccups regardless of the chosen treatment.
I know there are often a lot of questions about the Invisalign treatment, and I want to to share honestly about our process, especially for those who are considering orthodontic treatment options.
Invisalign treatment has been a super easy process for my daughter (and me!), and also we have experienced a few hiccups…
- One stepped on (destroyed) tray
- Two lost attachments
- One entire weekend without aligners (forgotten on the counter at youth group – pizza party!)
Pretty typical hiccups, actually, as I understand.
The reason we chose Invisalign treatment for our daughter is… Lucy really, really didn’t want traditional braces. We talked and talked over the responsibility around aligners not being permanent (lose-able and forget-able). Her resolve was and still is, strong.
She felt the “invisible” feature was worth the perceived inconvenience of having to keep track. She also felt the effort of keeping them clean would be preferable to traditional braces.
We are four months in and we are both grateful for the path we chose for Lucy.
Here are a few tips & insights I can share as a parent about the Invisalign treatment process so far:
- Don’t take your child’s sense of responsibility for granted. Even if they were perfect aligner wearers for the first 3 months… keep checking in. There may be that one Friday afternoon pizza party at youth group where the aligners get left on a counter. You may also want to make sure you have the youth leader’s phone number so they can open the building for you on Sunday afternoon when you discover the issue.
- Don’t freak out! Specific Invisalign treatment plans for teens include up to six replacement aligners, so if an aligner goes missing (or gets stomped on in the lunch room)… it’s OK! Don’t freak out! Getting a replacement aligner may take a week or two, but it’s not the end of the world. It may tack on some time to the entire treatment period, but that info can be used to encourage the child. The wearer has a lot of power to keeping the treatment time to a minimum.
- Don’t underestimate the helpfulness of the chewie. It’s a little spongy-plastic thing to help close air gaps between teeth and Invisalign aligners. (The chewie isn’t an official Invisalign system product and use of one should be discussed with your orthodontist.) There was a week Lucy complained that her aligners didn’t feel secure enough and I was all, “It’s fiiiiiine…” But my husband (also an Invisalign patient) reminded her of the power of the chewie. I’d forgotten about the chewie – DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE CHEWIE!
- Set calendar alerts! Right now, Lucy changes aligners every two weeks. Lucy has a calendar she keeps to remind her, and I set alerts in my own calendar to remind me.. to remind her. We get 3-4 new sets at each orthodontist visit, so I keep them in a cabinet where Lucy can easily get her new set. They are clearly marked on the package (6/30, 7/30, 8/30…), so there is no confusion about what set to open and use. Lucy is always excited for her new aligners, so I don’t really have to remind her at all. I just track it for my own peace of mind (see first bullet point above).
- Keep an extra aligner containers or two… our orthodontist offered us an extra container and we took it! Lucy keeps one in her backpack and one at home. If you need more, you can always find common retainer cases online. The cases help keep the aligners protected. I have learned napkins make for a poor placement solution during dinner (or any meal). If the case falls onto the floor and is stepped on, the aligners stay safe (and are just less likely to end up on the ground). Having an extra case or two helps make it easy for your child to take better care & keep better track of his/her aligners.
- Yes. You can cheer with Invisalign aligners. That was a big concern for Lucy. Active kids can be great candidates for Invisalign treatment!
Do you have experience with it? What tips and insights would YOU add to this list? Still curious? Check out details about Lucy’s first visits HERE!
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