What Is Invisalign for Kids?
Many people are familiar with Invisalign as an alternative to braces for teens or adults. Invisalign First is a treatment plan designed specifically for children since their jaws are still developing, and they often have a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth. This system can be used as a phase one treatment to prevent certain orthodontic issues before they develop into more serious problems. Phase one treatments typically begin anywhere from ages 6 to 10 and prime the mouth for better results or more efficient treatment during phase two, which occurs between ages 10 and 14. Before Invisalign First, you may have heard of metal expanders or partial braces that were used to achieve similar results. Though both systems work efficiently, Invisalign First is a great alternative to braces since the aligners are fairly comfortable and do not require many lifestyle adjustments.
What Is the Process Like?
The treatment process with Invisalign for kids is very similar to the process for adults. Your child should be wearing their aligners virtually all the time, only taking them out during meals or to clean their teeth. Every few weeks, your orthodontist will provide a new set of aligners for your child to switch to. Each set of aligners will make a small incremental change, moving the process to the desired result.
Is My Child a Candidate for Invisalign First Clear Aligners?
Invisalign First is able to treat many of the same issues that braces and other orthodontic devices historically treated. Problems such as overcrowding, spacing, underbites, overbites, and narrow dental arches can all be addressed with Invisalign First. To confirm that Invisalign First is a viable option for your child, we encourage you to book a consultation. During this appointment, your orthodontist will perform an oral examination and take digital impressions to clarify if Invisalign First is right for your child or if there is a better alternative.
Will Invisalign First Affect My Child’s Lifestyle?
The short answer is no, not extensively. Invisalign is a great, non-invasive way to fix a number of orthodontic problems. Your child can continue to eat anything they want during Invisalign treatment as long as they remove their aligners while eating and make sure to brush their teeth before putting them back in. They can also continue living an active and adventurous lifestyle playing outside or participating in sports, but make sure to get a mouthguard to protect the teeth, especially for contact sports like football or lacrosse.
Invisalign vs. Braces
For many orthodontic diagnoses, Invisalign First and braces are both able to produce the same results; it is simply the journey to this final result that differs between the two. Invisalign First is a great option for kids because it means that they (and you as a parent) don’t have to make as many lifestyle changes. Invisalign is typically more comfortable than braces since the aligners are smooth against the inner gums, so your little ones will not experience as much tenderness as with braces. The aligners are also invisible to others, so shy children who may not want the attention garnered by braces can feel calmer while undergoing treatment. Traditional metal braces are typically cheaper than Invisalign since they are an older invention and use cheaper materials. Braces are certainly a more budget-friendly option, but they do not offer the same benefits that Invisalign does.
How Much Is Invisalign for Kids?
The cost of Invisalign treatment varies from child to child, depending on their orthodontic issues. You can get a more accurate price estimate by visiting NC Tooth Docs Orthodontics & Kids Dentistry for a consultation. If the price seems like it may be a potential barrier when it comes to your child’s teeth, please do not hesitate to ask about any discounts or payment plans that are available to you at our practice!
Does My Child Need a Referral for Invisalign?
No, you do not need a referral for any orthodontic treatment! It is a good idea to communicate to your dentist that your child may be undergoing Invisalign treatment at some point to make sure that your child is in good dental health and can proceed with the process. Most orthodontists recommend that you bring your child in by age 7 to make sure you are proactive in tackling any orthodontic issues, but this does not require a referral, just a phone call!
What Should I Do If My Child Loses Their Current Aligners?
First of all, don’t stress out too much! Losing aligners is a very common occurrence, both with children and adults undergoing Invisalign treatment. If your child cannot find their aligners, they can either revert to wearing their most recent aligner or prematurely switch to their upcoming aligner. If your child had only been wearing their new aligners for a couple of days, it is a better idea to wear the old set until your orthodontist can make a replacement. Alternatively, if your child was only days away from switching to a new aligner, they can likely make the change now and forget about requesting a replacement.