Patient compliance is key when it comes to achieving effective results with clear aligners.
Clear aligners are often an excellent alternative to traditional braces for those who would like a discreet orthodontic treatment. Particularly popular among adults and teenagers, clear aligners are almost completely invisible thanks to the medical grade plastic from which they are made. If your teenager has clear aligners, it is very important that they wear them for around 22 hours every day in order to achieve optimal results in the expected timeframe. So, how do you know if your teenager is wearing their aligners as much as they should? And how can you help them to get the most out of the treatment?
How can you tell that your teenager is wearing their aligners?
When your teenager has their clear aligners fabricated and fitted, their orthodontist will explain how long they should wear them for each day, as well as how to take care of them throughout the course of treatment. Their compliance is extremely important when it comes to enjoying an effective treatment.
Some products include a compliance indicator feature, which gives your teenager, their orthodontist and you the opportunity to see how long the aligners have been worn for. This can be a helpful reminder to keep the aligners in throughout the day. Teen Invisalign, for example, includes a blue dot compliance indicator — the blue dot fades as the aligners become worn and shows when it is time to change to the next sequential tray.
When your teenager goes for check-ups, your orthodontist will check that the treatment is progressing as it should. This will give you an indication of how compliant your teenager has been about wearing their aligners.
How can you support your teenager through treatment?
In order to be as supportive as possible, it is important that you are patient with your teen. Understand that it takes some effort to commit to the treatment, and let them know that you are there to help if they need reminders when it comes to wearing their aligners, removing their aligners before eating, keeping their appliances clean or maintaining proper oral hygiene. Encourage your teenager to establish a routine that involves cleaning their clear aligners every day, as well as brushing and flossing their teeth — this will keep issues like tooth decay and bad breath at bay and ensure that they enjoy a healthy smile throughout their orthodontic treatment. If necessary, remind your teenager of the results that they can expect once their treatment is complete — the prospect of a beautiful, straight smile is a good incentive for proper patient compliance.
It is also advisable that you help your teenager to protect their aligners from damage whenever they are not being worn. You can do this by providing them with a protective case. Also, you should make sure that your teenager attends all check-up appointments that have been scheduled with their orthodontist. This will help to prevent unnecessary delays to treatment, and ensure that they enjoy the best possible results.
How can we help?
At Straight Orthodontics, our team is available to guide and support patients of all ages through their treatment of choice. If you or your teenager is interested in clear aligners, we encourage you to come in for a consultation so that we can explain exactly what the treatment process involves and what to expect from the experience.
We offer a number of clear aligner options, including Invisalign, Teen Invisalign and Spark Clear Aligners. All of these treatments are comfortable and can be used to address mild to moderate dental issues, such as crowded teeth and spacing problems.
If you would like to find out more about the clear aligners that we offer at Straight Orthodontics, please have a look here. To book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call on 03 9585 8000. We look forward to helping you and your family achieve healthier, more beautiful smiles.