*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign® clear aligners*
Dude 2 has been wearing Invisalign® clear aligners for several months now.
He has made such great progress already and we are all super happy with how the process has been going.
But, if I’m honest, it hasn’t been all unicorns and magical what nots.
As always, when dealing with middle school boys, things don’t always go as planned.
They have minds of their own, after all, and those minds are not always highly skilled in things like maintaining personal hygiene, effective multitasking, and following detailed directions accurately.
And, by not always highly skilled, I mean sometimes they downright suck.
Dude 2, bless his heart, tends to fall into the “not highly skilled” category in many of these tasks.
He struggles with remembering to put on clean underwear and socks each day, so when it comes to remembering to brush and floss his teeth, clean his Invisalign clear aligners or put on his rubber bands, I’m not surprised that he has struggled.
And, by struggled I mean has gotten yelled at reprimanded for his forgetfulness.
But, when I pulled back my moral outrage over the fact that a human could actually go two full days without brushing his teeth because he “lost his toothbrush” in his own bathroom, I did the good mom thing and came up with some solutions.
At the end of the day, Dude 2 isn’t the only person to struggle to get into the wear-your-aligners-for-22-hours-each-day routine.
If you or your teen are finding compliance while wearing Invisalign clear aligners a bit challenging, here are some tips.
How to Make Wearing Invisalign Clear Aligners Easier: Keeping Your Aligners in for 22 Hours a Day
Get a travel toothbrush and toothpaste.
When you’re wearing Invisalign aligners, you have to clean your teeth after every meal before putting your aligners back in. If you carry a brush and paste with you, you can clean up quickly at work or school.
Buy chewing gum.
ADA approved gum, of course. You should always brush before putting your aligners in, but if you only have gum available chew a piece before you put your aligners back in until you can get to a place where you can brush.*
Always keep extra rubber bands with you.
If you wear them, stash them all over the place –your locker, the car, your backpack or purse. They have to be changed often and they are always breaking or flying out of your mouth. It’s smart to always have extras with you. Dude 2 keeps a bunch in his aligner case so he can change them quickly and easily.
Set phone reminders.
We noticed that my son would sometimes go to school and forget to put his aligners in before walking out the door. He would brush, eat breakfast, and find himself rushing to catch the bus –leaving his aligners on the counter by the sink. This was a huge problem so we started setting a phone alarm to ring 5 minutes before he had to go to the bus. This was a reminder to put his aligners in, but it also helped him be on time for the bus without having to sprint! Double win!
Change your routine.
A lot of getting in the habit of wearing your alingers is about routine. Set yours up for success so that it’s easier to remember to put them in than it is to forget. We adjusted when Dude 2 brushes in the morning –instead of doing it before breakfast, he now leaves his aligners by the bathroom sink when he comes to eat breakfast in the morning, and then grabs them when he goes back up to brush afterwards. Make your routine work for wearing your aligners so your brain doesn’t have to work so hard to remember.
Thinking about getting Invisalign treatment for your teen? Check the Things Moms Should Know About Invisalign first!
If you’re ready to start the process, take the Smile Assessment now to learn more.
*The American Dental Association says, “Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.” Invisalign brand does not promote chewing gum over brushing.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Invisalign® Mom Advisory Board and have received complimentary treatment for my son as part of the program. All opinions are my own.