When it comes to a child’s orthodontic care, parents have many choices. Invisible braces for kids can be a great choice and have become a popular option as they are virtually undetectable and can be removed when needed.
Some advantages of invisible braces for children include discretion, comfort, and hygiene as there is no need to worry about broken brackets or wires.
If a parent is considering invisible braces for their children, researching both the advantages and disadvantages, consulting an orthodontist, and understanding the process can help them make an informed decision.
Clear Aligners – Who Are They For?
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional metal braces and offer increased convenience, flexibility, and discretion. Today, people of all ages have access to a variety of aligner types from several different providers that have products that suit all needs. Invisalign offers aligner products for children as young as six, while other clear aligner companies such as Smile Direct Club or Byte have products suitable for children aged 12 and older.
Clear aligners appeal to some individuals, particularly teens, who feel self-conscious wearing a visible device such as braces given their teenage years are an important period for self-expression and socialization. However, it should be noted that children who use aligners need to be mature and responsible enough to remember to use them in the way they are supposed to, particularly with removal when consuming food and beverage and ensuring they are worn for the right amount of time each day.
Depending on the type of misalignment that needs correcting, age, maturity level, and temperament can be important factors in deciding if clear aligners are a viable treatment option. Due to the requirement for consistent wear for them to work effectively, younger children who may not be as reliable as older children or adults about using their aligners may not always be suitable candidates.
See our reviews of the best invisible aligners:
Byte Review – The top pick this aligner is the most affordable and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Included in each purchase is a free HyperBite and retainer.
NewSmile Review – This low-cost option has premium aesthetics and comes with a free teeth whitening kit and retainer.
SmileDirectClub Review – The most popular option that has a lifetime guarantee and a free one-time replacement policy.
Candid Review – Very similar to Invisalign aligners and offering a hybrid in-office care procedure this product has received a lot of positive reviews.
ALIGNERCO – Lowest in price and a zero deposit monthly payment plan. A seasonal discount package is available for only $945.
Pros of Invisible Braces for Kids
Kids Can Eat Whatever they Want
With clear aligners, there is no restriction on what you can eat since you can remove the trays when eating and put them back in afterward. This offers kids peace of mind that they don’t have to worry about foods getting stuck in metal brackets or damaging their braces, as well as being able to enjoy all food types.
See our article: Can You Eat with Clear Aligners?
It is Easier to Keep Teeth Clean
A key benefit of aligners is that you can easily take them out when cleaning your teeth, ensuring that all areas of the mouth are brushed or flossed thoroughly. This allows for effortless access when brushing and flossing, ultimately enabling patients to keep their teeth clean during treatment.
Aligners Can Work Even Better for Children Than for Adults
Kids generally require fewer treatments than adults when using clear aligners, as the younger physical structure often allows for quicker movement of teeth into their ideal positions. There is also less wear and tear versus adult teeth that have been used for much longer.
Clear aligners do not press into the gums or cause any discomfort like regular braces. The special material of the aligners allows for better breathability, faster healing from irritations due to wear and tear, and less time needed for orthodontist adjustments.
See our article: Best Braces for Kids – What to Consider.
Aligners are Almost Invisible
The fact that clear aligners are almost invisible to the naked eye is a huge pro for kids using them. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but they also provide a sense of security and comfort since they can barely be detected even when you’re speaking up close.
Kids benefit from this level of discretion because it encourages them to go about their daily activities without worrying about how their orthodontic treatment looks.
Good for Children Playing Sports
For children who play sports, clear aligners offer a great option for orthodontic treatment. The removable nature of these aligners means that they can easily be taken out when playing sports, installed if necessary during breaks, and put back in when the play ends.
Cons of Clear Aligners for Kids
Kids Need to Remember to Wear their Aligners
When kids forget to wear their aligners it can lead to negative consequences. Not wearing their aligners as directed can lead to teeth shifting back out of alignment, increased visits and treatments from the orthodontist, and a longer time to complete the corrective process.
Not for all Malocclusions
Some malocclusions, such as deep overbites and open bites, may require more structural changes than aligners can provide.
Clear aligners are most successful with mild to moderate misalignment, spacing issues, and protruding or overlapped teeth.
Aligners Can Get Lost
Unfortunately, when it comes to kids wearing aligners, there are a multitude of potential opportunities for them to get lost; from misplacing them in school lockers or at home on the kitchen table to being accidentally thrown away in lunchtime trash cans.
Additionally, because kids tend to be more active than adults and often take part in several sports activities throughout their day, they can easily lose their aligners while running around or playing different games.
Rules for Wearing Aligners
To get the most from your aligners, it is important to follow the rules associated with them. Firstly, take them off before eating anything. This is important to prevent food from getting stuck in between your teeth and the aligners which can damage and also irritate them.
Taking care of your oral hygiene whilst wearing aligners is also essential; brush and floss twice daily for best results. Avoid drinking anything other than water whilst wearing them too as this may cause stains or discoloration. Once you have eaten, you should clean your mouth before putting your aligners back in.
Aligners need to be worn for the majority of the day when undergoing treatment, normally 20-22 hours per day. Consistent and diligent wear of aligners is essential for ensuring that the teeth are moving as planned and that the treatment progresses as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Finally, be sure to always follow the instructions that come with your aligners; keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear so that you always get the best performance from them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Aligners Recommended for Children?
Aligners are recommended for children but generally work best when the patient has most or all of their permanent teeth, making them ideal for adolescents aged 11-18.
Can a 7-Year-Old Get Invisalign or Clear Aligners?
Invisalign has a product called Invisalign First which is an innovative clear aligner treatment that can help prevent more severe or complex orthodontic conditions from developing as permanent teeth emerge. This program is available for children aged 6-10 years of age.
Invisalign states that as a child grows and even still has baby teeth, it might be the perfect time for children to start orthodontic treatment.
Can Children Wear Clear Aligners?
Yes, children can wear clear aligners. This is an excellent option for children since it gives them the same great benefits as traditional braces but with a much more discreet look.
Clear aligners also provide an easier and more comfortable experience than traditional braces as they are made of a thin, flexible plastic that fits closely to teeth without irritating the gums or soft tissue in the mouth.
What is the Youngest Age for Invisalign?
Invisalign has a product called Invisalign First that can be used by children that are aged 6-10 years of age.