Tips for Wearing Invisalign at School

For any child or teen, fitting in can be challenging, especially when you’re going through orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, Invisalign is a discreet and more comfortable alternative to metal-bracket braces. There are a few specific things that can worry your teen when going back to school with Invisalign, so here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your child is set up for success. 

Invisalign during school
  • How to maintain good oral hygiene during the school day

It’s always important for your child to have good oral hygiene, but during any orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene is of higher importance. At a minimum, it is recommended your child brushes their teeth after every meal. Be sure to pack them a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, and encourage them to brush their teeth in the bathroom after lunch, or send a school excuse that they need a trip to the nurse’s office after eating. We understand this may be challenging to implement in their busy schedules, so we recommend in a pinch, swish really well with water or chew a piece of sugar-free gum for a few minutes to remove large food debris. They can then do a thorough brush when they get home. 

As it is important to keep up with good brushing, flossing is just as important to clean the contacts in between the teeth. It is recommended to floss each night. To help encourage your child to regularly floss, we recommend getting floss picks. The handles tend to make flossing easier for kids and it will limit the amount of contact between fingers and mouth. 

Oral hygiene not only applies to your teeth, but to the clear aligners as well. It is vital that your child continuously cleans their Invisalign aligners. Good practices include rinsing the aligners each time they are taken out before putting them into the case. Aligners should be brushed with a toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste each night. Aligners can also be soaked in retainer cleaning crystals a few times a week to keep them fresh. 

  • Eating during the school with Invisalign 

Wearing aligners is a lifestyle change, especially when it comes to eating while at school. It might be challenging to encourage your child to take the aligners out at the lunch or snack times. If your child does not feel comfortable taking them out at the table, we encourage them to go into the bathroom to remove their aligners on the way to the cafeteria, place them in their case, and place their case in a safe location.

  • Meeting the recommended wear time

Invisalign aligners simply won’t work if they are not worn for the recommended hours per day. This ensures the teeth are moving to the correct places in a specific amount of time. It may be helpful to remind your child that your orthodontist will know if your child is not wearing the aligners for the specific amount of time, since your teeth will not be adjusted as much as they expect. It is important for your child to know that if they are not wearing the aligners for the minimum amount each day, the longer the treatment process will take. We recommend batching snacks and meals rather than grazing throughout the day to minimize taking the aligners in and out. Since you can keep the aligners in while drinking plain water, we recommend sticking with water as your preferred drink throughout the day, saving other types of drinks for during meal times when the aligners are out.

Many parents understandably get nervous their child will not be compliant throughout treatment with Invisalign. Since Cooney Orthodontics is the top VIP Diamond Invisalign provider we have worked with thousands of Invisalign cases from age 7-80. We see great compliance with Invisalign throughout all age groups, and more importantly some amazing results with this more comfortable, lower maintenance, and predictable treatment process.

Invisalign Patient Experience: Q&A

If you are seriously considering Invisalign, hear a first hand account about the experience as told by Rich from Albany, NY. He recently finished up his active treatment at our Troy office where he saw both Dr. Tyner & Dr. Cooney.

Why is a smile important to you?

I was fortunate to have a really nice natural smile without braces growing up, but I let it deteriorate over time. Now with social media and zoom meetings your smile is on display more than ever. This is especially true as “masks optional” starts to become increasingly a healthy norm again in our area (Albany, NY).
At all times of day your smile and overall oral health is going to be on your mind. It plays a major role in your health and happiness, so it was the right time to make the investment in myself with the right Invisalign provider!

Why did you choose Invisalign?

If only presented with the option of traditional braces I don’t believe I ever would have had orthodontic treatment done. The ease of treatment, and knowing Cooney Orthodontics was the most experienced provider in the area, made it a really easy choice.

My bite wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t something that bothered me and I didn’t think it was too bad. Upon completing active treatment I finally could appreciate how far it was off previously and how now I could more effortlessly smile in a way I loved each time.

How long did you have Invisalign?

I was in active treatment for about 14 months, and my treatment was accelerated using AcceleDent. I didn’t have all that many appointments, and the ones I did were always enjoyable. To make sure I could complete treatment on time I had to make sure I wore my clear aligners for as close to 22 hours per day as I could. The treatment time really flew by and I consistently saw improvement and knew I was on the right path with each aligner swap.

Did you have any fears or concerns prior to your appointment?

Prior to getting my smile back in order with the help of my amazing general dentist (shoutout Dr. Maestro & his team at Maestro Dental Wellness), I really hated the thought of sitting in any dental chair ever again. When I was ready to start Invisalign I tried to get over any fears by imagining the first day that someone would tell me I had a great smile. With my smile needing some fixing I knew I had a pretty complex road ahead to help fix my bite, but my dentist & Cooney Orthodontics worked hand-in-hand to ensure any fears were mitigated and questions were answered. Most importantly that the process was simple because I had a real guide in the process.

Describe your experience at your first appointment.

My appointment was interesting because it was Halloween. So, I showed up with a bit of a funky smile that threw off the docs a bit. It’s wonderful that there are two Board Certified Orthodontic Specialists with Dr. Cooney & Dr. Tyner. The appointment was great though, and after getting my attachments put on, I was on my way to a healthier smile.

What was the hardest part of having Invisalign?

I have a pretty bad gag reflex and was never able to wear sports mouthguards growing up. I was quite worried that I wouldn’t be able to wear my Invisalign retainers for the appropriate amount of time and after awhile I really started to forget they were there.

The rubber-bands were hard to get on at first, but you really become a pro once you practice a few times.

Is Invisalign painful?

It’s only painful if you let it be. In the beginning I’d forget to take the steps like slightly wearing down any edges with an emery board or using orthodontic wax. I talk a whole lot, so after a day of this I’d have a cut up mouth. I soon learned my lessons and the pain went away.

What is your advice to those thinking about choosing Invisalign?

Find an orthodontist that feels like a true partner on your smile journey. They should also be someone who will work well with your general dentist. It’s so important that they are collaborating because there are decisions that need to be made together. Look for someone with iTero Scanning machines – they’re great for your consultation as you don’t have to take messy impressions.

Would you recommend Invisalign to someone?

I recommend it to anyone who can make that commitment to themselves or their family member. Your smile is an investment you get to use only while you’re living so the sooner the better. It didn’t take long to hear that first, “You have a great smile”, and it felt as great as expected.

Interested in a complimentary consultation? Book yours online today for either of our locations in Troy or Ballston Lake, NY.