Parents’ Edition: Can Children Wear Invisalign?
29 April 2022
Invisalign clear aligners are not new in the world of orthodontics. It’s virtually invisible, comfortable and convenient, while it effectively straightens your teeth. Therefore, making Invisalign a popular choice among many adults and children.
That’s right! The benefits of an Invisalign treatment are not limited to just adults. Children as young as 6 years old can also benefit from Invisalign and have a head start to a straighter smile.
For children, there are two Invisalign treatment options available which are – Invisalign First and Invisalign Teen.
Let’s dive deeper and find out more about the differences between these Invisalign options and which will suit your child’s dental needs better.
Is there only one type of Invisalign treatment?
The answer is a “no”. As you might already know, no two Invisalign aligners are alike. Every clear aligner throughout an Invisalign treatment is customised to suit a person’s dental needs and the same goes for Invisalign for children. Invisalign for children is suited to the dental needs of the young ones and it could help to correct or prevent the worsening of bite issues.
Here’s some important information you should know about Invisalign for children:
Invisalign First is for children between the ages of 6 to 10 and is suitable for children with milk and permanent teeth.
You may be wondering, “Why does my child need to wear Invisalign at such a young age?”
Well, to put it simply, the goal of Invisalign First is not so much to straighten your child’s teeth but instead, as an early preventive measure.
It is a ‘phase 1’ treatment designed to facilitate your child’s developing jaw and dental arches to ensure there is sufficient room for their existing milk teeth and optimal space for their permanent teeth to erupt.
Early orthodontic treatment can prevent future dental issues such as:
- The buildup of plaque and bacteria caused by misaligned teeth.
- The need for surgery to correct skeletal malocclusion.
- Dental and health-related consequences due to bite problems such as overbite and underbite.
- Prolonged poor oral habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting that can damage your child’s teeth.
The treatment focus for Invisalign Teen is similar to Invisalign for adults, which is to straighten one’s teeth but there is more to it.
What sets Invisalign Teen apart from Invisalign for adults is that this treatment option focuses on the dental needs of a teenager. For example, some teenagers might still have their milk teeth when embarking on their Invisalign Teen journey and therefore the dentist will need to estimate the amount of space to accommodate the growth of the permanent teeth in the future. The treatment also takes into account the speed of a teenager’s teeth movement, which is different from adults, and this is an important factor when realigning one’s teeth.
Another unique feature for Invisalign Teen is the Mandibular Advancement. This feature addresses overjet and corrects the development of the lower jaw. If left uncorrected, it is likely that surgery may be required in the future. As compared to its counterparts, this feature by Invisalign Teen is more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing too.
How will your child benefit from Invisalign?
These benefits that are unique to Invisalign allow your child to continue with their everyday life while having their bite corrected. They include:
Your child has the flexibility to remove the clear aligner whenever needed, including during meals. Therefore, there is no need to worry about diet restrictions too.
Note: With flexibility also comes discipline. Your child has to adhere to wearing the Invisalign clear aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours daily. If required, blue wear indicators attached to the aligners are available to help your child adhere to the recommended hour. The indicators will fade from blue to clear when the wear time is fulfilled.
Made from material known as SmartTrack, Invisalign clear aligners are customised to snugly fit around your child’s teeth comfortably while effectively shifting them to their ideal position. With this smooth plastic material, your child will not need to worry about wires poking their mouth and causing ulcers.
#3 Corrects bite problems
Invisalign for children helps to correct and prevents the progression of malocclusion.
#4 Increases your child’s confidence
Invisalign is virtually invisible. There is no reason to feel shy because, unlike braces, there is nothing to hide! As a matter of fact, the Invisalign Teen Confidence Survey found that teens are twice more likely to have a confidence boost wearing Invisalign than braces.
#5 Helps to avoid the need for surgery
With a proper bite, the need for surgery and tooth extractions may not be necessary.
#6 Less dental appointments
Occasional dental visits are still necessary but with Invisalign, dental emergencies are rare too as you need not worry about mouth injuries or metal wires and brackets breaking out of a sudden. Also, Dental Monitoring is available at i.Dental whereby your child’s dentist will be able to monitor the progress of your child’s Invisalign journey virtually. All it requires is a mobile phone and a device.
#7 Reduced risk of cavities
As long as your child maintains a good oral hygiene routine, the chances for food debris to get stuck between your child’s teeth are lesser. Plus, as the clear aligners are removable, it’s easier for your child to brush and floss like before, without any disruptions.
#8 Perfect for your active child
Unlike braces, which can be sharp and injure your child’s mouth, clear aligners are made out of a tough and smooth plastic, which reduces the risk of mouth injuries especially when your child is playing sports or musical instruments. Plus, your child may remove the clear aligners and conveniently change to a mouthguard if needed.
Questions to ask your child’s dentist
Asking questions gives you and your child a better understanding of Invisalign. We’ve prepared a list of questions that you may want to ask your child’s dentist:
- When is the right time for my child to get Invisalign?
- What is the duration of the treatment?
- Will Invisalign affect my child’s diet?
- Are wearing Invisalign aligners painful?
- Can my child play sports while wearing Invisalign aligners?
- Upon completing the Invisalign treatment, will my child be required to wear retainers?
- Is my child a suitable candidate?
Invisalign treatments including Invisalign First and Teens are doctor-directed from the start to the end. If you’re considering Invisalign for your child, consult our dentists to find out if your child is a suitable candidate.