Invisalign First™ – Are Aligners Suitable for Children?

Invisalign First™ – Are Aligners Suitable for Children?

Invisalign aligners are an appealing option for many people. They have ideal aesthetics, easy removal for brushing and flossing, and minimal dietary restrictions. Aligners are great for adults, but are they suitable for children?

Traditional Phase 1 Treatment

Many children have developing malocclusions that require correction of their bite in the primary dentition while there are still some baby teeth present. Traditionally for problems relating to just the teeth and not the jaws, this would be done by placing limited braces on the available adult teeth. This approach works well but can result in brackets coming off or wires poking necessitating an emergency visit to fix the appliance and make your child more comfortable.

The Invisalign Approach to Phase 1 Treatment

In recent years, Invisalign has begun to offer aligners for younger children to correct developing problems. The Invisalign First™ aligners are specifically designed for younger smiles. Our doctors will recommend them anywhere from ages 9 to 11 based on your child’s stage of dental development. Some goals we may be looking to achieve in this first phase of treatment could include:

  • Making room for all permanent teeth as they come into the mouth
  • Broadening the dental arches to create less crowding when permanent teeth erupt
  • Correct a developing dental crossbite
  • Close any spaces a child may be self-conscious about
  • Correction of any existing crowding

What’s the Advantage of Invisalign for Children?

Aside from working just as well as the traditional braces approach for most problems there are also several other advantages for Invisalign First™. There are no brackets or wires so the potential for an emergency visit is greatly reduced. We also see Invisalign aligner patients less frequently, reducing the number of office visits required. The aligners offer a positive experience so that as children grow, they can improve their developing dentition.

What are the Disadvantages of Invisalign for Children?

Invisalign is a removable orthodontic appliance that can be taken out easily. The aligners need to be worn 22 hours a day so if compliance might be an issue, you may want to consider the more traditional treatment options. Parents know their kids best, so we defer to them for the maturation assessment when considering Invisalign for children.

Discuss Your Options  

It’s best not to make any decisions on which orthodontic option you will choose until after your first appointment with an orthodontist. Once you have all the information, you can make a decision on what option works best for you and your child!

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