Invisalign for Kids
For young people who want straight teeth without the embarrassing bulk of the metal wires and brackets typically associated with braces, Invisalign can be the ideal solution. That’s because unlike traditional braces, which require time-consuming appointments in the dentist’s office and the attachment of metal brackets on the teeth, Invisalign can be used to straighten teeth with far fewer visits to the orthodontist. Even better, the clear aligners are not only comfortable and removable, they’re nearly invisible too, making the dreaded “metal mouth” insults a problem of the past.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are clear, removable retainer-style aligners individually manufactured based on the exact shape and specifications of a patient’s mouth.
Based on the recommendations of a licensed and certified orthodontist, patients can expect to receive a detailed smile treatment plan outlining how many Invisalign aligners they will receive, and how long each aligner should remain in the mouth for. Over the period of weeks or months, patients will trade old aligners for new ones exclusively created based on the shape of their mouth and position of their teeth until the perfect smile alignment has been achieved.
Unlike traditional braces, which remain in the mouth at all times, Invisalign aligners are completely removable, which makes it easy for patients to brush their teeth and eat normal foods without the embarrassing fear of getting things caught in their braces.
For young people specifically, Invisalign has announced the introduction of a specialty version of the product called the Invisalign Teen System. In an effort to create a product that better fits in with the typical child’s lifestyle, Invisalign designed a specialty aligner that starts out blue and fades into clear over time, letting the patient know when it is time to change to a new aligner. In addition, Invisalign Teen is shaped to take into account the growth of new teeth and molars and includes six free replacement aligners in case any get lost in the bustle of life.
Who are the best candidates for Invisalign?
Invisalign can be used to treat nearly any child who has all of his adult teeth. With that said, however, some candidates are considered more ideal than others, and those experiencing overcrowding of teeth, underbite, overbite, crossbite, or widely spaced teeth can expect to see the best results.
Candidates considering Invisalign should be sure they are mature enough for the product, as well. Because Invisalign aligners can be removed at any time, the parents of younger patients should be sure their children are mature enough not to lose the aligner before choosing Invisalign as an option.
Finally, Invisalign treatments generally last 18 to 30 months, which means that any children thinking of using the product should be sure they can commit that entire length of time to the process before beginning the use of any aligners.
What are the benefits of Invisalign for children?
While ultimately having a straight, healthy, beautiful smile is Invisalign’s ultimate benefit, a number of other positive aspects related to the product exist as well.
Pertaining to oral health, the fact that Invisalign aligners are entirely removable greatly reduces the risk of children developing cavities or gum disease over the course of treatment. Whereas traditional braces are oftentimes bulky and difficult to brush around, Invisalign aligners create none of these problems since they should be entirely taken out of the mouth before for brushing and flossing each day.
From a cosmetic standpoint, Invisalign’s clear aligners mean young people and adults as well will not have to sacrifice the look of their smile for the year or more they are undergoing treatment. In addition, patients can eat or drink whatever they choose during the process without worrying about food getting stuck in their teeth, since Invisalign aligners are meant to be removed from the mouth before each meal.
Finally, on the topic of comfort, the American Lingual Orthodontic Association reports that the lack of obtrusive wires and brackets make Invisalign a much more comfortable option for patients worried about the painful cuts and irritation typical braces can cause within the mouth.
What risks are involved?
Any patient considering Invisalign should be sure to contact an orthodontist who has extensive experience with the product, since this can greatly impact the overall outcome. For children, especially, this is important, since many orthodontists are still learning about the positive effects of using Invisalign for children and teens.
While extremely rare, there is the possibility that some patients may be allergic to the medical-grade polyurethane resins Invisalign aligners are made out of. Anyone with previous allergies who is concerned that this could be a potential problem should ask their healthcare professional about the risk well ahead of time.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.