For many children, early orthodontic treatment is incredibly beneficial. We call this Phase I orthodontics, and it is often recommended for children ages 7 to 10 to help correct issues with the structure of the mouth and the alignment of the teeth. Although braces are often used to achieve our treatment goals, we are now able to offer clear aligner therapy to achieve our goals. This treatment modality is called Invisalign First.
About Invisalign First
Invisalign First is specifically designed for children ages 7 to 10 with their unique tooth anatomy and treatment needs in mind. Invisalign First works the same as the other Invisalign products, just on a smaller scale. We place attachments just like we would for teens and adults however, the attachments are made to accommodate the baby teeth that have smaller crowns. Since the younger patients’ teeth move so quickly, the aligners are typically switched out about every three days, instead of every one to two weeks, like teens and adults.
Invisalign First patients are usually in treatment for 9 to 12 months. Because their teeth are easy to move, we can accomplish a lot in a little amount of time. We find compliance tends to be better among our younger patients. They are still rule followers, especially when their instructions are coming from a medical professional. If a child does happen to lose a set of aligners, we typically advise them to move on to the next set of aligners, but replacements can also be ordered if necessary.
Benefits of Invisalign First
Invisalign First is becoming my favorite way to treat young patients because of its many benefits, including:
- Non-invasive: Invisalign First is comfortable and easy
- Reduced risk of white spots or cavities forming around braces
- Easier oral hygiene: Brushing and flossing habits remain the same
- Increased comfort with no poking wires or irritated gums
- Gentler than braces
- No emergencies during busy weeks or weekends (There’s no need to worry about brackets breaking or wires becoming loose on Friday night)
- No food restrictions! Aligners are removed to eat, so patients are able to eat whatever they want. (It’s still advised to maintain a healthy, balanced diet low in sugar to keep teeth and gums healthy.)
Invisalign First doesn’t interfere with holidays, movie night, school pictures, musical performances, or sports events. Simply remove the aligners when needed or keep them on during practices or games for more tooth protection.
Getting Started with Invisalign First
Invisalign First allows orthodontists to predict a patient’s tooth movement more accurately, thus offering excellent results in younger patients. We recommend getting started with a check-up at about age 7 to determine if your child has early orthodontic needs that should be addressed.
We’ll evaluate if Invisalign First, an appliance, or partial braces are a better fit for your child during a complimentary new patient exam. If no treatment is needed, we’ll continue to monitor your child’s oral development free of charge until they need treatment.
It’s exciting to be able to offer younger patients and their parents more options for correcting issues early and starting them on their way to a healthy, beautiful smile for life.