Is Invisalign for Kids?
The answer is, it depends. Does your kid take direction well? Can you trust him to wear the trays most of the day and keep them in a safe place when he’s not? If the answer is yes, Invisalign may be a better choice over traditional metal braces. But if your child is the opposite of all that, is very young, or has trouble complying with requests, you may want to think twice.
Bottom line is, you know your child best. Here at Clear Smiles, we’ll happily go over all the requirements with you and your child at the initial consultation so you can make the best possible decision for your family.
Listen, everyone knows Invisalign treatment isn’t a perfect fit for every person or situation, just like everyone knows how forgetful and wishy-washy kids can be! But whether your child is a younger grade-schooler or approaching their tween years, Invisalign is definitely worth researching. Just add it to the long list of tasks you have to tackle as a parent! At Clear Smiles, we try to make it as easy as possible with convenient online scheduling and appointments. If you or your child are considering Invisalign treatment for teeth straightening, don’t get caught up with the what if’s and the myths.
Here are five truths about Invisalign for kids, backed up by our very own orthodontists: Dr. Schroeder and Dr. Crosby.
1. You Can Eat What You Want
Really. Popcorn…nuts…gum…those really cool gummy snakes that go on and on forever. All the good stuff you wouldn’t be allowed to eat as a metal-mouthed kid can be easily consumed by those wearing invisible aligners. Because you can remove the trays when you eat, virtually nothing is off-limits. Parents, you can’t blame your junk food ban on Invisalign! Well, you could. We wouldn’t tell. Ssshhh.
2. It’s Easier to Keep Your Teeth Clean When Wearing Clear Aligners
At least it is when compared with those traditional metal braces, a.k.a food traps. With Invisalign clear aligners, you don’t have to hassle with one of those little floss thingies to clean between your teeth or buy a special toothbrush or any of that stuff. Just take out your aligners, then brush and floss like a normal person. But for Pete’s sake, don’t forget to place your aligners in a safe place when you’re not wearing them!
Side note about hygiene with clear aligners…Dr. Schroeder of Clear Smiles says hygiene is so much better with Invisalign than with braces, as the amount of cavities people experience, and kids, in particular, is much less if at all.
3. Invisalign May Work Even Better in Kids
If your child is super vigilant about keeping the trays in all day and night except for eating, the results can sometimes be even better than that for their folks. In fact, as Dr. Schroeder points out, kids’ treatments almost always go smoother than adults, mainly because kids are more adaptable to having things in their mouth and they’re not constantly taking them out. With strong compliance, the results for kids is the same if not better than their teen or adult counterparts. Actually, there’s a new product out there that’s perfect for this age group and it’s called Invisalign First.
4. Invisalign Isn’t Out of the Question for Complex Cases
Not all cases are cut and dried. If your child suffers from a severe case, such as an aggressive bite situation, you may wonder if Invisalign alone is up to the task of correcting the problem. Some creative solutions could be applied, such as a treatment plan using another device that interacts with Invisalign clear aligners. But as Dr. Crosby points out, severe cases still sometimes require traditional braces; that being said, technology and techniques are evolving all the time, bringing us closer to being able to correct ALL orthodontic concerns with Invisalign.
5. There are These Things Called Aligner Chewies
Hmmm, sounds like a yummy snack. But in fact, aligner chewies — sort of like rubbery cotton balls — allow the trays to stick to the teeth more firmly. When a new Invisalign tray is placed on the teeth, there is sometimes a small “bounce” to the trays. The chewies allow the tray to be pushed onto the teeth more readily, allowing the teeth to move into the tray better. Dr. Schroeder adds a bit of science to this: When you bite down on the chewies, this seats the aligner and moves the teeth slightly in the desired direction, thereby increasing blood flow around the tooth. This is what’s responsible for bringing the type of cells that are necessary for tooth movement into action.
More Advice From Our Team
So what’s an orthodontist’s opinion of Invisalign vs. braces? We asked Drs. Schroeder and Crosby what advice they would give parents considering clear aligners over metal braces.
Dr. Schroeder says:
If a child is willing to wear the aligners, then everything about them is better than braces, especially when it comes to hygiene and the fact that there are no emergency appointments involving wire pokes and loose brackets — not to mention, they look better, are less invasive and are more gentle on the teeth.
Dr. Crosby says:
If the orthodontic issue is suitable for the Invisalign technique and if the parents feel comfortable with their child being responsible for wearing the trays, we absolutely recommend putting kids on Invisalign over braces.
There you have it! We hope this helped all the parents out there agonizing over the decision, and we hope it helped ease the minds of kids and teens eager to get started.
For more Invisalign tips and to book your consultation on Invisalign Frisco, visit our website or call 469-460-5915.