Everyone knows it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions right? Well, apparently not if an interview with young model Karlie Kloss is anything to go by! She recently told a US magazine about how much she loves her new Invisalign braces but that she only wears them at night as they make it difficult for her to speak.
No doubt her orthodontist gave her pretty clear instructions about the best way to use Invisalign and those instructions probably didn’t include the words “Don’t worry Karlie, you can just pop them in and out whenever you please”. Of course, the only person that she’s hurting by failing to follow the Invisalign instructions is herself, as the process of fixing her teeth will now take that much longer or not ever be done at all.
The benefit of removability can be the downfall of some
The great benefit of Invisalign, aside from the aesthetic qualities, is that they can be removed whenever you need to –with the emphasis on the word need, not the word want. The Invisalign Teen brand is particularly popular among young people who are, like Karlie, moist likely to pick and choose the times when they wear their braces. Parents and dentists alike must watch them like a hawk to make sure they’re wearing them when they go to school in the morning and when they come home. Unfortunately, you can’t watch them in the hours between!
The problem emerges because patients are told they can remove the Invisalign braces when they need to – for teeth cleaning, when playing sports or while eating. Because they get carte blanche to remove them on these “special” occasions, in the patient’s mind, these occasions will soon start to grow in number and length. Soon they’ll decide they won’t wear them for the whole lunch break at school. Then they’ll decide they won’t wear them when they go that big party at the weekend. Pretty soon, most waking hours will be ruled at as suitable for braces wearing and they’ll end up only wearing them at night.
Don’t put your money to waste
Hopefully adults using the Invisalign system will be more sensible. Usually they’re paying for the treatment themselves, so understandably want to make sure the process works as efficiently and quickly as possible. Having braces fitted in adulthood is more often your own decision, so you are already committed to the process. In teenagers, this is less obviously the case.
So how do you convince your teenager not to keep removing their handily removable Invisalign braces? You’ll just have to sit them down and find out why they feel they want to remove the braces so often. Invisalign are usually more comfortable than other braces, but maybe they are feeling some pain. Perhaps they are embarrassed about the way it has affected their speech. Some of these problems can be easily fixed with a visit to the dentist and an adjustment to the Invisalign braces.
If the problem is one of attitude, it may be more difficult to fix. If neither your or the orthodontist can convince them of the importance of wearing their braces, then it may be time to call a temporary halt to the treatment. It’s preferable to have work like this carried out while the patients are young, but not essential. Leave it a few years until your sulky teen is more of an adult and they are more likely to work with you and their dentist to make sure the procedure works.
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