Teenagers are likely to undergo orthodontic treatment to straighten their crooked or misaligned teeth to get a perfect smile. However, donning shiny metal brackets on their teeth, in school, and among friends is not a teen’s favorite thing to do.
It is, in fact, quite common for teenagers to feel ashamed of their braces. This is where Invisalign comes into play. Invisalign are plastic aligners that can replace metal brackets and braces wire. The selling point of these plastic aligners is that they are completely transparent, making them almost invisible to others and preventing any uncalled shame.
However, like any orthodontic device, you need to take good care of the aligners for a successful treatment. They can stain easily if not taken care of properly.
Since there are a few rules to the use of Invisalign, the following tips can help you stay comfortable throughout your school time without compromising the effectiveness of the brackets.
1. Pack A Soft Lunch
While there are barely any restrictions on the kind of food you eat while undergoing treatment with Invisalign, unlike traditional braces, you may want to eat softer foods initially.
Similar to braces, your aligners may feel tight and cause discomfort, tenderness, or soreness for the first few days after a new fitting. If that is the case, you can pack a suitable lunch for school, including soft foods such as pasta, oatmeal, fruits, yogurt, and smoothies.
Once your mouth and teeth stop feeling tender or sore, you can switch back to crunchy and hard foods according to your comfort level.
2. Remove Your Invisalign Before A Meal
The fact that you are using Invisalign can become the most obvious during lunchtime. Since Invisalign is clear plastic, you need to remove it before having any food to prevent staining it.
Therefore, make sure to remove your aligners before your school lunch. Since it may feel weird to do it at the table in front of your friends, removing the aligners in the bathroom is suggested.
Make sure to place them in their case and carry it with you safely. You can take the help of aligner removal tools if taking out the Invisalign is tricky or painful. These tools can also help prevent breaking or cracking the aligners, which can cost your pocket quite a bit.
3. Brush Your Teeth After The School Lunch
Good oral hygiene is one of the prerequisites for using Invisalign properly. While you do remove your aligners before the meal, you cannot simply put them back on once done.
If you wear your aligners before brushing your teeth, the residual food can get stuck between the aligners and your teeth, leading to stains on the Invisalign and even cavities or plaque in the long run.
Therefore, always make sure to brush your teeth after a meal, even at your school. You can pack a travel-sized dental kit and do the needful in the bathroom.
While it is not necessary to floss your teeth after every meal, make sure to carry a floss pick in case any food bit gets stuck between the teeth. However, do floss your teeth once a day.
In case you have limited time post lunch on some days, you can skip brushing and replace it with swishing your mouth with water to help remove food debris. However, this should not become a regular practice.
4. Always Carry The Invisalign Case
Carrying the Invisalign case is of utmost importance if you want to prevent breaking or to infect your teeth. Instead of putting your aligners in your pocket or bag, you must always put them in their case first.
Having the Invisalign case with you is helpful during lunchtime. When you place the aligners in their case, you also prevent getting dirt or germ on them. Avoid touching our aligners unnecessarily when in the case or on your teeth.
However, always rinse your aligners before and after putting them in the case. You can also carry spray-on cleaning solutions for cleaning the aligners. Using the spray helps prevent yellowing of the Invisalign and bacteria growth that can cause a foul odor.
5. Do Aligner Changes Only At Nights Or Weekends
You need to replace your aligner every once in a while. However, with every change comes tightness and soreness, which can last for a couple of days. Therefore, as a school-going teenager, it is recommended that you do this on weekends so that your school time is not spent in pain.
Performing an aligner change at night helps skip a lot of pain while you sleep, which may otherwise ruin your whole day.
6. Meet The Recommended Wear Time
While you may feel the urge to remove your aligners every once in a while, sometimes for a day or two, thinking that it will not hamper your treatment, however, your dentist recommends 20-22 hours of daily wear time for a reason.
It takes a long time for your teeth to move to the correct places. And the more you remove your Invisalign, the longer your treatment will be. Therefore, if you want to get the treatment over as soon as possible, follow the dentist’s orders carefully and religiously.
7. Do Not Be Conscious
It is common for you to feel a level of shame while undergoing orthodontic treatment. However, remember that undergoing medical treatment is nothing to be ashamed of.
No one might even notice you wearing Invisalign until you show your self-consciousness. Always keep in mind that at the end of this treatment, you will have a perfect smile.
If you are conscious of your teeth yellowing or becoming dull, you can take the help of whitening pens and strips. In case you develop a lisp, you can practice enunciation and work on your speech.
Wearing Invisalign is a good replacement for the chunky braces that can bring about unwarranted self-consciousness about your appearance, making you hide your smile in pictures.
However, wearing them at home and school can be a lot different. The above tips can help you overcome any difficulties while in school, letting you focus on your studies and friendship. Practice these tips, meet the recommended wear time, and visit your dentist regularly for a quick, successful treatment for the best pictures of you.