More people are undergoing orthodontic treatment in recent years. Brits alone have been flocking practices such as MiSmile to undergo various dental procedures — orthodontic treatment among them. According to the British Dental Health Foundation, about one in five people now spend more money on oral care than ever before. Experts say it’s just the beginning.
With this increase is demand, many parents are asking if their children can be brought along as well. In the case of orthodontics, there is always the question of age with regards to how early children can undergo treatment. Invisalign, the modern, more discreet answer to traditional braces, is making headlines. But can youngsters take advantage of it?
Invisalign’s effectiveness is well-documented. Patients can get desirable results in as little as 12 months, compared to several years for traditional braces. Obviously, the severity of one’s case can lead to a different result. But overall, before-and-after comparisons show great improvements without the troubles of traditional braces.
However, the aforementioned results speak for adults. For children, it might be a different story. To know more about Invisalign’s compatibility, one needs to look at the case from a general perspective. Experts typically recommend that children undergo treatment between the ages of 8 and 10. This is when the first molars have already come in, allowing orthodontists to check for misalignment.
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends an earlier age, which is at 7. It’s because by this age, according to Dr Thomas Cangialosi, wherein permanent teeth have already erupted. Parents are advised to have their children screened this early to determine whether a bad bite is present and if said bit problem can be an immediate or long-term issue. At which time, the decision of undergoing orthodontic treatment falls on the concerned parties.
As for Invisalign, it takes a certain level of maturity to fully comply with treatment. The recommendations made beforehand mainly concern traditional braces, which are more or less fixed. Invisalign is removable, but still needs to be worn at least 20 hours per day. Children can take some time getting used to aligners, and the fact that they know it is removable might present some drawbacks. For this, it is advised to confirm first that the child is ready to commit to the treatment before everything else.