How Often Does My Teen Have to Wear My Aligners?
For the absolute best results, your teen needs to wear his or her aligners as often as possible – think 22 hours a day, if not longer. Overall, the only time they should ever be taking the aligners out of their mouths is when they’re drinking something that isn’t water or if they’re eating anything at all.
Is There Anything That My Teen Cannot Eat While Using Aligners?
This is one of the major reasons why aligners have become so popular over the years – there are absolutely no dietary restrictions to speak of, unlike with traditional braces.
Because the aligners are fully removable, all your teen has to do is take them out of his or her mouth before a meal. Then, after brushing and flossing their teeth, they can put them right back in again when they’re done.
How Long Do Aligners Take?
The answer to this question is going to vary depending on the severity of the issues the aligners are trying to correct. Some dental problems take longer to correct than others, thus requiring a longer treatment period.
Overall, most teens can expect to wear aligners for between one and two years, which is roughly the same amount of time that they would be in a set of traditional braces.
How Do Aligners Work?
Once a thorough examination (including 3D scans) has been taken of your teen’s mouth, a series of aligners are created with those precise measurements in mind. Every few weeks, your teen will swap out one set of aligners for the next in the sequence – with that next set being slightly different than the one that came before it.
These subtle changes are what move the teeth into the desired position over time, thus finally allowing your teen to enjoy the perfect smile they’ve always wanted.
What Happens if My Teen Loses an Aligner?
In the unfortunate event that your teen loses aligner, you should contact Dr. Dressler or one of his associates immediately for a replacement. Remember that your teen should be wearing their aligners for as long as possible every day – something they literally cannot do if they don’t know where it is.
Therefore, your teen will need to be issued a replacement for that particular sequence. There’s also the possibility that they may have to come back in for another evaluation to make sure that no changes are necessary for the remainder of the treatment period.
Are There Any Food Restrictions?
As stated, there are absolutely NO food restrictions to speak of – which is a big part of how aligners have become so popular in a relatively short amount of time. With braces, there are certain foods you can’t eat because they could damage the metal brackets and wires.
By design, there is nothing that can “break” with aligners because you can simply take them out of your mouth before a meal. Just be sure that your teen properly brushes and flosses BEFORE putting them back in. Likewise, they’ll want to properly sanitize the aligners every night before they go to bed just to keep things as clean as possible.
How Much Will Aligners for Teens Cost?
This, too, is a difficult question to answer because it’s going to be so heavily impacted by the total treatment time. The longer the treatment period, the more aligner sequences are required. The more aligner sequences, the higher the price you’ll pay.
Having said that, most people find that aligners work out to be roughly the same cost as traditional braces – all for an experience that is every bit as effective, far more comfortable and far more discreet as well.
Benefits of Aligners
To be clear, both traditional braces and aligners can be a viable way to allow your teen to enjoy the incredible smile they’ve always seen for themselves. Having said that, aligners do bring with them several clear advantages that traditional braces simply cannot match.
Chief among these is the fact that your teen can continue to enjoy the foods that they love, as outlined above. To reiterate, all they have to do is pop the aligners out of their mouth and they can enjoy whatever they want without compromise.
Likewise, by design, aligners don’t have any wires or metal brackets to speak of – meaning that there is nothing in their mouth that can break (and delay treatment) or cause pain in any way. Most people get used to wearing aligners in just a couple of days if it even takes that long.
If your teen is particularly active, he or she will love the fact that it’s easier than ever for them to continue to play sports. The teen will just need to wear a mouth guard during play to protect their aligners, but then again they really should have been doing that anyway.
Finally, most teens love the fact that aligners can be easily removed for a special event, like a graduation or school dance.
The Dressler Difference
At Dressler Orthodontics, there are a few things that we value MORE than your time. We know that you (and especially your teen) lead busy lives, which is why we offer virtual appointments for our patients to make sure that they have access to the critical care that they need in the most convenient way possible.
If you ever have a question or a concern during treatment, you can always text our office directly and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Your teen can even send in photos on their smartphone so that Dr. Dressler can take a look at them directly!