5 Questions Every Teen Has About Invisalign
When it comes to any kind of orthodontic treatment, you are bound to have questions. Invisalign, because it is still so new and because many of your friends may still be getting braces, instead of getting Invisalign, may be kind of a mystery. How does it work? Will it work for me? What are the restrictions? What do I do if I lose an aligner? All of these are legitimate questions to have and to ask before you actually start your treatment. Here are five questions every teen has about Invisalign and Invisalign Teen.
1. Is treatment painful?
When I got my metal braces as a sophomore in high school, all I heard from my friends, many of whom were just finishing up their treatments, was how painful it was. It actually turned out to not be that painful at all. In fact, there was a mild degree of discomfort after an adjustment. Most of the time, it did not hurt at all.
Invisalign is the same way. There is going to be some discomfort when you put in a new set of aligners. Your mouth might feel sore as the aligners are pressing against your teeth, moving them into a straighter and more aesthetically pleasing alignment, but the treatments are not painful. Invisalign is actually less likely to cause you pain than other types of orthodontic treatments, because there are no metal wires or brackets involved.
2. How often do I have to wear my aligners?
Ideally, you should wear your aligners for at least twenty-two hours a day. That means that at any time you are not eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth, you should be wearing your aligners.
In some situations, you might not be able to wear your aligners for that many hours a day. If you play a sport that requires you to wear a mouth guard, for example, you might not be able to wear your aligners at the same time. If you play a musical instrument that is impossible to play while wearing your aligners, there may be days when you simply cannot wear them throughout the entire day.
All that said, you should wear them as often as possible. Many teens struggle to wear their aligners in school, believing that people are looking at them or will notice that they are wearing them. These plastic aligners are much less noticeable than metal braces and once you adjust to having them in your mouth, you probably will barely notice them.
3. Is there anything that I cannot eat while using Invisalign?
If you have friends that have metal braces, you know that they have a long list of foods that they are not supposed to eat. You’ve probably watched them eat some of those foods. You may have even seen a friend break a bracket or bend a wire because they were eating something they were not supposed to be eating.
Luckily, with Invisalign, you do not have to worry about this. This is one of the most common Invisalign Teen questions that we hear, and most people are relieved to discover that there are absolutely no limitations on what you can eat while using Invisalign. Because you can simply take off your aligners when you want to eat something, you do not have to worry about damaging your treatment, just because you want to eat an apple or some chips (two things that your friends who are wearing metal braces might not be allowed to eat).
4. How long does Invisalign take?
How long your treatment takes depends on two factors: how often your wear your aligners and how much your teeth need to move.
When Invisalign was first introduced, it was only recommended for patients who had very acute problems that could be easily fixed. Today, advancements have been made to the technology, and Invisalign can now tackle more severe issues. The more your teeth need to move, the longer treatment will take.
The same goes for any orthodontic treatment. The more your teeth need to be adjusted, the longer it will take to get them into the perfect position. And remember, if you do not regularly wear your aligners, it will protract the length of your treatment. Wearing them as regularly as possible is the key to making sure your treatment goes as quickly as possible.
5. Is there anything I’m not allowed to do while wearing my aligners?
In general, it is not a good idea to eat anything or drink anything other than water while wearing your aligners. Eating could damage the aligners, and drinking anything except water, especially something like juice or soda that is high in sugar, could hurt your teeth, as well as the aligners. This is because the aligners could trap the sugar and acids in the juice or soda against your teeth. If you do this regularly enough, you could actually etch the aligners, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to grow in your aligners and start to damage the enamel of your teeth.
You may also want to remove your aligners if you are going to play a sport or musical instrument. Not only could wearing your aligners actually make these two things more difficult, both of these activities could damage your aligners.
These are some of the more common questions every teen has about Invisalign that we hear. Invisalign is a great alternative to metal braces, and because they often cost about the same amount of money and take about the same amount of time, many patients choose Invisalign over metal braces.