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How Old Does My Child Have to be to Start Invisalign?

Invisalign has helped over 7 million people straighten their teeth and improve their oral health. While these aligners are popular with teens and adults for their overall discreteness and shorter treatment time, if you have a younger child, you might be wondering if Invisalign could work for them. To help determine if your child is a good candidate for this treatment, here is what you need to know.

What Makes a Good Candidate?

Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces and is a favorite for children, teens, and adults. Many parents prefer Invisalign when given the option.  In order to know if your child is ready for treatment, there are a couple of things to consider.

Level of Oral Development

First, your dentist should assess the level of oral development your child has gone through to ensure that aligners are appropriate. This includes using X-Rays and a thorough exam to determine ideal treatment timing. If the teeth are still developing, or if there are signs of decay, your dentist may choose to wait until development has reached sufficient levels or any cavities have been corrected.

Maturity Level

Secondly, when considering if your child is ready for Invisalign, it’s important to assess their maturity level. Even if your dentist notes that their mouth is developed enough, if your child is unwilling or unable to wear the aligners for the recommended 22 hours each day, it may be best to wait until you know they are ready. This will vary between children, but it is an important factor to consider to ensure that treatment is completed as prescribed.

It is also important to note that Invisalign is designed to be taken out for both cleaning and meals. While this saves children from having to change their diets or dental hygiene routines to accommodate metal braces, eating while wearing the aligners can increase the likelihood of disease and decay to form. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your children are able to understand how to manage their routines throughout treatment so that they don’t risk damage or forgoing normal brushings.

Schedule a Consultation

Invisalign can have many benefits for both young children and teens; however, it is essential to ensure that you listen to the advice of your dentist and consider the maturity of your child. While there is no defined recommended age, children 7 and up are usually the best candidates. If you’re interested in learning more or seeing if your child is ready for Invisalign treatment, reach out to Kathryn A. Swan, DDS, MS today for a free consultation.