Is Your Teen Mature Enough for Invisalign?
Now that your child is a teen, you have a better idea of what their permanent smile looks like. You may be worried about crooked or misaligned teeth, or your teen may be begging to get braces like their friends.
In most cases, Invisalign is an option that we can offer to improve your teenager’s smile. Yet, your teen needs to be mature enough to take care of their new aligner trays and keep up with their oral hygiene.
We encourage you to ask these questions to help determine if your child might be ready for Invisalign braces.
Are Most of Their Adult Teeth In?
We start checking your child’s teeth alignment once the adult ones begin to appear. Yet, beginning orthodontic treatment too early means that you may have to prolong the plan or retreat new problems later.
Most children are finished growing in their adult teeth between the ages of 11 to 15. If your child is not, then you may need to wait for them to be physically mature enough to start their treatment.
Do They Brush Their Teeth Without Reminders?
Teens love the fact that they can eat and drink what they want with Invisalign. They also get to skip worrying about food getting caught in metal wires and brackets.
While plastic aligner trays are more convenient for eating, your teen does need to brush and floss after every meal. This prevents food debris from getting stuck between the aligner trays and their teeth where decay can start to form.
If your teen forgets to brush, then remind them that keeping their aligner trays clean helps make them more invisible.
Does Your Teen Keep Up With Their Things?
Your teen will also need to remove their trays during meals. This means that they will also need to remember to put them in a safe place and to put them back in their mouth when they are done.
Teens who regularly lose their belongings may be at risk for also losing their aligners. We provide our patients with a tray that they can use to store the aligners as they eat. You are also encouraged to notify us right away if an aligner tray is lost so that we can arrange for a fast replacement.
Are They Aware of the Commitment Involved?
Invisalign trays must be worn for approximately 20 to 22 hours a day for them to work. Your teen must be willing to wear them to school, while they play and overnight. We will also need to see your teen regularly to check on their progress, which means a few extra visits a year to our office.
Talk to your teen about the time involved with caring for their appliances. We can also give your teen aligners with wear indicators that help you know that they are keeping them in their mouth.
Have They Expressed Concern About Their Smile?
The teen years are a time when kids tend to become more aware of their appearance. Your child should feel comfortable flashing their smile in social situations. Once your teen’s crooked teeth or misaligned bite causes them emotional discomfort, it is time to find a solution for treating the problem.
We always assess each teenager on an individual basis. Your input helps us prescribe a treatment plan that fits your child’s physical and emotional maturity.
Please let us know if you or your teen have concerns about the appearance of their smile so that we can assess their readiness for Invisalign at their next appointment.