Invisalign is designed to be a more self-directed alternative to braces. It’s a less obstructive but more expensive method for treating similar oral issues. Invisalign may not be the first option a parent thinks of when their young child begins showing a need for braces. However, the treatment can be instrumental in their developmental health, provided the parents understand what is needed for Invisalign to succeed.
Continue reading to learn about Invisalign for kids, including how it works and why it could be a better choice for your child than braces.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign was first invented by a company called Align in 1998. Other brands now exist, but the method itself has become a standardized option for practically every orthodontic clinic when evaluating a patient’s potential treatment for common oral issues.
The issues treated by Invisalign overlap with those treated by braces, though there are some differences. Braces, aside from being non-removable, can be adjusted to provide more intense treatment in patients with serious oral health issues. Invisalign on the other hand can only do so much to correct severe issues.
This is why eligibility for Invisalign always involves an oral exam by a dentist or orthodontist, who will diagnose issues and determine whether the treatment will work. Issues commonly treated by Invisalign include:
- Moderate overbite or underbite
- Open bite
- Irregular spacing
- Arch alignment
A severely misaligned bite will often require more invasive treatment, such as other devices or even surgery. However, basic crowding, tooth gaps, and other malocclusions are often perfect candidates for Invisalign.
What is Phase 1 Treatment?
Phase 1 treatment is a term that orthodontists use to describe treatment for children ages 6 to 10, some of which still have their baby teeth. You may be wondering why Invisalign would be needed if their adult teeth have not come in yet, and the answer is in how oral development works at that age.
As permanent teeth come in, they are affected by the way the baby teeth have grown, whether they fall out on time, and how straight they are. An orthodontist can identify developmental issues that could impact the condition of the child’s adult teeth later. In those situations, Phase 1 treatment could involve Invisalign at an early age to predict and correct development.
Reasons Invisalign for Kids is Great
An improvement in oral development is not the only reason for kids to get Invisalign treatment, since we can also use braces for many of the same issues. Invisalign has other specific advantages that give it the edge over other treatment options, especially for children.
- Invisalign provides a convenient alternative to braces. They can be removed to eat, which makes diet restrictions much easier for parents to manage. They can also be taken out for sports.
- Invisalign is more comfortable, so kids can be eased into their treatment more easily.
- Invisalign requires fewer trips to the office since parents will have multiple aligners at once to switch out as needed without requiring frequent adjustments.
- Oral health is easier to maintain since food can’t get stuck in Invisalign as easily as it does in braces. Kids with Invisalign are much less likely to get cavities during treatment compared to braces.
- Invisalign also doesn’t affect their appearance as much, so kids with confidence issues won’t have to adjust to their treatment like they would with braces.
- Finally, Invisalign is easier to clean, so both parents and kids have less to learn to maintain the appliance compared to braces.
Despite these conveniences, there are a few downsides to Invisalign that parents should also know about. The first is that since aligners can be removed, they can be lost. They also need to be worn as often as braces, so kids need to be responsible and self-direct their treatment.
Self-direction is the key difference between Invisalign and braces. Parents should consider how responsible their children are, or how able they are to stay on top of their schedule, before beginning Invisalign treatment.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.