Can Children Get Invisalign? (The Answer Is Yes)
Did you know that 12% of kids in the UK have had a bad dream about their oral health? More than that, almost half of the nation’s children are anxious about their teeth and gums. Even 18% of kids under the age of five have already told their parents they don’t like their smile.
Moreover, the NHS itself says that one-third of kids in the UK need orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign is one such treatment that your little one can get. It’s a revolutionary teeth-straightener without the metal brackets and wires. Instead, it’s nearly invisible, and it’s also removable.
To that end, we came up with Invisalign guide to help parents out there learn how these clear braces work. Read on to learn their safety profile, when your child can get them, and the benefits they bring.
What Is Invisalign?
The term “Invisalign” is a combination of two words: “invisible” and “align.” Invisalign trays are almost invisible, as the material used is a specialised plastic. They aligners snugly fit over the teeth, and since they’re see-through, they are very hard to notice.
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment, which means that it helps straighten the teeth. In children, it can correct protruding teeth, crossbites, crowding, and spacing. It can also treat narrow dental arches that can cause the tongue to become “scalloped” on the edges.
Invisalign isn’t only for little kids, though: it can be for the entire family. For teenagers, there’s the Invisalign Teen. Of course, adults can also benefit from this innovative orthodontic treatment.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Invisalign?
Children as young as six years old can already get Invisalign First. It’s the Invisalign system specifically designed for children and pre-teens.
As for adults, there’s no age restriction. You can get Invisalign for adults, regardless of your age. In fact, in North America, some Invisalign patients are in their mid-60s, and some are even in their 80s.
Is Invisalign for Kids Safe?
Yes, it’s safe for children to wear the Invisalign clear aligners. The Invisalign First system is just as safe for kids as the other Invisalign systems are for adults. However, its use comes with responsibility, which parents should help their kids shoulder.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign or Braces for 8-Year-Old Kids?
In the United Kingdom, most children undergo orthodontic treatment at the age of 12 or 13. It’s during these ages wherein most of their permanent teeth have already erupted. However, it’s possible, even helpful for some kids to start their treatment at an earlier age.
In fact, one study found that braces at the age of eight years old can result in shorter treatment time. Also, in the US, it’s a common practice for children to see an orthodontist for the first time before they turn seven. Many of them then proceed to get braces by the time they hit the age of eight.
To help clarify things, let’s take a look at the benefits of early teeth straightening for kids.
Early Orthodontic Check-Ups to Detect Teeth and Jaw Issues
Jaw development issues in children can make their teeth jut too forward. If not treated early, this can impede the proper development and eruption of the adult teeth. It can result in misaligned bites, crookedness, or overlapping teeth.
Early orthodontic check-ups give orthodontists enough time to spot these problems right away. If your kid’s orthodontist sees these development issues, then early braces can help. If none of these concerns exists, then at least you can feel at ease knowing that your little one has healthy teeth.
Malleability for Faster Treatment Completion
The teeth, gums, and bones of eight-year-old kids are far more malleable than adults. This pliancy does go away as they get older, though. As such, the goal of early orthodontics is to take advantage of this “softness.”
This malleability, in turn, can help orthodontic braces produce results faster. The treatment then gets completed at a shorter amount of time. As a bonus, this can protect your child from having the need for more invasive treatments in the future.
Guided Jaw Growth
With early braces, the orthodontist has enough time to guide your child’s jaw growth. This is crucial, as a properly-developed jaw is essential for a healthy bite. A proper bite, in turn, allows for your kid’s adult teeth to erupt in their proper locations.
Lower Risks of Protruding Teeth
Any protruding tooth, be it a front tooth or a canine, are at a higher risk of dental trauma. This is especially true for children, who often get into slip, trip, or fall accidents. The impact can hit a protruding tooth, and the force can be strong enough to crack, chip, or break it.
Do note that about a third of the world’s kids and toddlers sustain dental trauma each year. Such injuries also affect one in five adolescents (or adults) every year.
With that said, interceptive braces can help lower your child’s risk for such injuries. So, the earlier your little one gets treatment, the sooner the protrusion can get fixed.
Treat More Serious Teeth or Alignment Problems Earlier
Many teeth and jaw issues, such as teeth overcrowding, don’t always occur in eight-year-olds. However, they can already start exhibiting symptoms at this age. The earlier your kid’s orthodontist sees these signs, the sooner they can map out a treatment plan.
Proper Jaw Alignment to Prevent TMJ Disorders
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders affect one in four people in the UK. They’re more prevalent in women aged 20 to 50, but children can also develop them. Most of the time, TMJ disorders are annoying, but they can be painful and even debilitating.
Since orthodontics guide jaw growth in kids, then they may also help keep TMJ disorders at bay.
Straighter Teeth Are Less Susceptible to Decay
Experts have confirmed that misaligned teeth can raise one’s risks for tooth decay. That’s because improperly-aligned teeth have more nooks, crannies, and crevices. Many of these are also harder to access, making them more difficult to clean.
If left unbrushed, these areas can start to collect and build-up plaque. Scientists say that it takes as little as 12 hours for plaque to become detectable on the teeth. The longer they stay on or between the teeth, the more damage they can do.
In this way, Invisalign or braces can help as they make the teeth aligned properly. By treating the misalignment, they reduce the number of areas where plaque can hide. They also allow for easier, more thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums.
Why Consider Invisalign Over Metal Braces?
As helpful as metal braces are, they can be a source of embarrassment for kids. The glint of the metal brackets and wires can make them self-conscious. This, in turn, can make them feel shy and hesitant to smile.
Invisalign helps prevent this since the treatment trays are inconspicuous. Other people may not even notice that your child is wearing them! Since they’re almost invisible, this may encourage your little one to smile more.
Smiling more, in turn, can help foster better self-confidence in your kid. In addition, scientists say that smiling can really make a person feel happier. So, not only will your kids have healthier teeth; they’ll also have a more enjoyable childhood.
This “invisibility” is just one of the main advantages of Invisalign over metal braces. Here are a few other reasons that you may want to choose clear aligners for your little one.
Eat Without Obstructions
Invisalign trays are removable, whereas fixed braces get glued to the teeth. As such, Invisalign allows kids to enjoy whatever healthy food they’d like to eat or snack on. They only have to take the aligners off before eating and slip them back on after brushing.
Ease of Maintaining Oral Hygiene
Speaking of which, Invisalign allows for better, more thorough brushing and flossing. Again, that’s because the trays are removable, unlike fixed braces. So, kids can keep their mouths healthier since they don’t have to brush with obstructions on the teeth.
Safer for Sports Lovers
This removable feature also benefits children who play sports. They can be safer than fixed braces, which can cause mouth sores or injuries. Just make sure to help your little one remember to slip on the aligners right after playing.
Help Your Little One Smile More With Invisalign
As you can see, Invisalign is truly an amazing system that does more than straighten the teeth. So long as worn correctly, you and your little one will notice improvements with the first set of trays. This, plus the fact that the trays are almost invisible, can then encourage your child to smile more.
If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign First, our team here at Smile 101 is ready to help. Please contact our specialist orthodontic centre to request a free clinical smile assessment. We also offer video consultations, so please feel free to tell us if you’d like to book one.