Posted on: 20 November 2014
Teenagers aren't exactly known for their high levels of responsibility. If your teen is about to start the Invisalign system of teeth straightening, you're likely concerned about how to keep him or her using the aligners the prescribed 20-22 hours a day. Although the trays come with blue indicator lines that will let you and your orthodontist know if the teen has been using the system properly, you likely want to know sooner than every six weeks.
Follow these three tips to help your teenager stay on track with wearing the aligners as often as needed to shift his or her teeth:
Tip #1: Let Them Feel In Control
You've likely already noticed that your teen responds better to responsibilities when he or she has control over a situation. Psychologically, adolescents are trying to spread their wings and separate themselves from their parents, even if you know that they still need your help.
Use this personality shift to your favor when it comes to Invisalign. Because the trays need to be worn at least 20 hours a day to be effective, allow your teen to schedule those off-times, if he or she wants any at all outside of meals. Allow him or her to create a schedule for the following week every Sunday night. Does your teen have a date on Friday? Let him or her decide to remove the trays at that time, to encourage use the rest of the day.
Tip #2: Utilize Online Forums
One of the major benefits of Invisalign is that it's an orthodontic system that's not immediately noticeable in the patient's mouth. However, that likely means that your teen will be unwilling to talk to friends about wearing the trays.
Thankfully, there are online forums and communities where your teen can chat with other teens (with your supervision) about quirks and questions associated with the system. There will be a level of anonymity so your teen won't be embarrassed about admitting he or she wears the trays, but he or she can still socialize and realize he or she isn't alone in wearing them.
Tip #3: Take Progress Pictures After Each Set of Trays
How many selfies does your teen take each week? Each day? Use those to your advantage in motivating your teen to use the Invisalign trays properly. Creating visuals of how much progress he or she has made can have a great effect on how much effort your teen puts in.
After each appointment, take a picture of your teen smiling. Print and post each picture on the bathroom wall so that he or she can see the progression of an overbite, gap, or crooked teeth. Rather than feeling slighted for having to wear the trays, your teen will likely feel proud of how far he or she has come.
The last thing you want is another reason to butt heads with your teen. Teenagers have very specific psychological needs as their worlds become more social and less about what their parents want. Use your teen's personality traits to your advantage to get him or her to wear the Invisalign aligners appropriately.
For more information, contact a company like Port Orchard Dental Care Center with any questions or concerns you have.Share