Invisalign can make straightening your teeth a lot easier than with braces. You won't have metal brackets wearing into your cheeks, and people won't notice the device in your mouth as readily. All in all, wearing Invisalign as a teen in school is a lot easier than wearing standard braces. But that does not mean you won't face a few challenges! Follow these tips for wearing Invisalign while in school to ensure your treatment process goes smoothly.
1. Eat breakfast at home.
When you have Invisalign, you need to remove your aligners prior to eating. This can be a struggle if you eat breakfast at school. Breakfast periods prior to classes are often short at school, and you may have to rush to take your aligners out, eat, and reinsert them. You probably won't have time to brush your teeth, as you should after every meal. Things will be easier if you get into the habit of eating breakfast at home. This way, you can take the time to brush your teeth and reinsert your aligners properly after the meal. You might have to get up 10 minutes earlier, but your teeth are worth the effort.
2. Pack a tooth care kit.
Put together a little kit that contains a case for your aligners, a toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, and perhaps a few toothpicks. Keep this in your locker. You may want to put together a second kit with the same items, and keep that one in your purse or backpack. This way, you will have these items on hand to care for your teeth when you do remove your aligners and eat at school.
3. Go to the restroom and brush your teeth after lunch.
It's vital that you brush your teeth after every meal and before you insert your aligners. You do not want to trap food particles against your teeth, as oral bacteria will feed on them and release acids that not only cause cavities but will also cause your breath to smell. Brushing your teeth after lunch can be a bit of a challenge at school, where you're required to be in a class a few minutes after lunch.
Talk to the school nurse to see if you can get a special pass allowing you to use the bathroom to brush your teeth -- and then be a minute or two late to your next class. Also, try talking to the teacher of your class after lunch. Explain that you need to brush your teeth before their class, and ask if they can give you a little leeway if you're a tiny bit late.
4. Bring a water bottle with you.
If your school allows you to do so, bring a water bottle with you so that you can sip water throughout the day. Water is the only thing you can drink without removing your aligners, and drinking regularly will keep you hydrated. Plus, sipping water regularly will keep your mouth moist and your aligners clean, which will help prevent bad breath.
5. Keep track of when you need to change your aligners.
When you're busy with classes and sports, it's all too easy to forget to change your aligners. Keep track by noting your aligner change dates wherever you keep track of your school assignments -- whether that's in a notebook or in your smartphone. This way, you won't miss the reminder to change your aligners, which can add to your treatment time.
To learn more about properly using and caring for your aligners, talk to your dentist. They can tell you what has worked well for other patients in their teens.