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What Happens If My Teen Doesn't Wear Their Clear Aligners as Recommended?

Invisalign® is a popular alternative to traditional braces, thanks to the aligner system’s clear, comfortable design. But just because Invisalign seems like a simpler alternative to metal braces, that doesn’t mean they don’t involve any effort at all.

The most important thing your teen can do is wear their aligners as directed. Otherwise, they can wind up with some unexpected and unpleasant consequences.

At Freedom Orthodontics in Cedar Park, Texas, Brendan Smith, DDS, MS, helps teens and preteens understand the importance of their Invisalign routine, so they can enjoy the best possible results. In this post, learn why consistent wear is so critical to your child’s progress.

How aligners work

Invisalign’s clear aligners aren’t just discreet and durable; they’re really good at moving teeth. But to get the best results, your teen needs to wear their aligners in the right order and for the right amount of time.

The right order

During Invisalign treatment, your teen can expect to wear a dozen or more sets of custom aligners created specifically for them. Each set of aligners is shaped slightly differently from every other set, and it’s those shape differences that keep their teeth moving into proper position. 

Your teen wears each set of aligners for a specified number of days before swapping that set out for the next set of aligners. If they lose a set or a set is damaged, you need to call our office right away so we can adjust your teen’s treatment accordingly.

The right amount of time

No matter how effective Invisalign’s aligners are at straightening teeth, they only work while they’re in your teen’s mouth. And to stay on track and avoid potential treatment-related issues, that means your teen needs to wear their aligners for about 22 hours every day.

In fact, the only time your teen’s aligners should be out of their mouth is when they’re eating meals or snacks or brushing and flossing their teeth. In some instances, they may be advised to remove them for other activities, including certain sports.

Why following recommendations is so important

One reason people love Invisalign is because treatment typically takes less time compared to traditional braces. Not surprisingly, when your teen doesn’t follow the recommendations and guidance Dr. Smith provides at the beginning of treatment, treatment is almost sure to be delayed.

Wearing aligners for less than the specified amount of time means your teen will need to wear their aligners longer, prolonging the amount of time they’re in treatment. Plus, leaving aligners out for too long can lead to problems with fit, resulting in poorer outcomes or a need for additional aligners.

Failing to wear aligners as directed means it can take longer for your teen to adjust to their aligners too. Wearing aligners as directed minimizes discomfort that can occur when a new set of aligners is introduced. Increased discomfort can make it harder for your teen to stay motivated about their treatment, leading to further problems with compliance.

Learn more about Invisalign

Invisalign can give your teen a more beautiful smile, improved oral health, and greater confidence. To find out more about Invisalign, call Freedom Orthodontics or book an appointment online today.

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