INVISALIGN: An effective clear aligner to brighten smiles and adjust face shape for children
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Perfect smile without misaligned teeth for kids is ideal for the parents. There are a number of dental problems that affect the tooth alignment of children. It is common at this age for teeth to appear to be crooked, crowded, squished in the mouth or to be pointing in improper directions. Besides tooth and jaw malfunctions that cause problems in chewing, biting and speaking, these conditions can potentially lead to undesired appearance that substantially impairs self-confidence while growing up during adolescence period. As children grow, their smiles grow with them. Invisalign® is considered an effective clear aligner to shape the smiles with perfect tooth alignment for children and teenagers, aged between 6-19. Not only having straight teeth as satisfying result, but benefits of Invisalign® also include reducing speech impediments, improving gum health and preventing gingival recession while avoiding tooth extraction. Moreover, Invisalign® helps to alter face shape and appearance of the kids and teens, balancing facial features and boosting their confidence. Since children and teens are adaptable, Invisalign® for kids often works better than it does for adults. Children are advised to wear aligners such as Invisalign® as long as the child’s teeth have developed to an appropriate stage.
Common dental problems in children and teenagers
During an adolescent age, a wide variety of dental problems can be found in children and teenagers. As a result, these conditions can lead to chewing, biting and speaking limitations as well as unpleasant cosmetic concerns. These often include:
- Prognathism (an extension or protrusion of the lower jaw)
- Protruding teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth (overcrowding or dental crowding)
- Spaced teeth (gap teeth)
- Overbites or buck teeth
- Mismatched teeth
Get to know for children and teenagers
Invisalign®, as an invisible orthodontics, is a clear plastic aligner system consisting of a series of transparent, plastic trays used to adjust tooth alignment over a period of months. It is customized to fit individual jaws and conditions, enabling dental problems to be corrected. Invisalign® is recommended in children aged over 6 when the first pair of permanent teeth usually erupts. It can be still considered until reaching an adolescence age of 19. Compared to adults, children and adolescents are viable candidates for Invisalign® owing to the fact that during adolescent period, children and teens are growing up and their bone structures are extremely adaptable. While the head and mouth are still growing, teeth are more adaptive to change which ultimately makes the process of Invisalign® easier. Therefore, with less or no limitation in kids and teens, Invisalign® can effectively correct tooth misalignment and imperfect smile with higher degree of adaptability and pleasant cosmetic outcomes for face shape and appearance alteration.
How to get treatment with Invisalign®
Process of Invisalign® in kids and teens includes:
- Digital impression: To address dental problem of each individual, digital scanning system is deployed to create 3D images of teeth in just 3 minutes. The scanner using digital imagery to take comprehensive pictures of teeth and dental structure enables the specialized dentist (orthodontist) to identify tooth alignment problems, allowing for an appropriate treatment plan.
- Clinical plan: Two weeks after digital scanning, an appointment for treatment plan will be made. The orthodontist explains presenting tooth alignment problems obtained from 3D images, treatment process, timeframe and expected treatment outcome after completing Invisalign® To reveal the result, digital monitoring and detailing during treatment will be conducted in order to ensure clinical and cosmetic outcomes as well as treatment comfort. Apart from significant change of tooth alignment leading to a perfect smile, Invisalign® treatment can alter face shape and change appearance positively by assuring everything is aligned in proper position which can substantially restore self-confidence and increase outcome satisfaction.
- Receiving clear aligners and follow-ups: After clinical plan discussion approximately 4 weeks, next appointment will be made for the patient to receive 20-30 pieces of dental devices including clear aligners. Patient instructions will be given with thorough explanation for proper care and use. To monitor treatment outcomes, appointments will be regularly made every 8-10 weeks. Dental devices for children aged 6-10 usually change every week whereas adolescents aged 11-19 need to change their dental devices every week during the first period of treatment and then every 10 days, as instructed by the orthodontist.
When teeth are misaligned, they do not allow the jaw to settle in the appropriate position. Instead of waiting until adolescence ends, Invisalign® is, in fact, recommended in children aged over 6. Since bone and jaw structure of the kids can be flexibly altered up to 100%, Invisalign® results in a better treatment outcomes, both clinical and aesthetic. Jaw readjustment leads to the ability of upper and lower jaws to realign into a proper bite. Furthermore, children who potentially require orthognathic surgery – a surgery to correct a severe malocclusion from a misaligned jaw or jaw protrusion might not need to undergo surgery if Invisalign® can effectively correct their jaw misalignment problems.
Special dental devices designed for kids and teens
During Invisalign® treatment, clear aligners attached with upper and lower precision wings are designed specifically for young children. These special features intend to manipulate jaw growth, allowing the lower jaw to move forwards and match with upper jaw in proper position. In addition, mandibular advancements also helps to correct issues with arch development and expansion while improving tooth crowding, tooth spacing and tooth protrusions – all contributing to the overall appearance of a child’s smile. Nonetheless, customized treatment plan and selected feature of dental devices for individual patient will be considered by orthodontists to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes.
During orthodontic treatment, major concern in kids and adolescents is their poor compliance due to high degree of discomfort while wearing braces, leading to unsuccessful treatment. Traditional devices largely limit the freedom of the patients to remove the appliances for brushing teeth and eating. To overcome these limitations, Invisalign® for kids and teens made of smooth plastic is designed to be comfort-to-wear with aligners that are 0.75 mm thick only. Thickness of clear aligners neither causes gum irritation nor affects speech impediments. Since invisible aligners can be removed when eating, brushing and flossing, virtually nothing is off-limits. Besides a better compliance, Invisalign® results in more comfort with less pain and less daily limitations.
Reduction in time consumption
Traditional orthodontic appliances such as metal braces comprising of brackets, bonding material, arch wire and ligature elastic need to be monthly readjusted during the first 8-10 months. With Invisalign®, wire adjustment is not required, therefore patients spend less time as they only need to be maintained every 8-10 weeks on average. By using special device made of plastic with gentle force applied, Invisalign® can shorten the length of time needed for orthodontic treatment. Treatment time can be saved up to a year. More importantly, a number of clinical studies conducted in the US and worldwide have indicated that Invisalign® significantly reduces root resorption and shows no correlation with root canal damages.
Avoidance of tooth extraction
Tooth extraction is often required as pre-orthodontic treatment for traditional braces. In most cases, tooth extraction aims to gain more space needed for tooth realignment, especially for the correction of crowding or proclined teeth. Due to orthodontic advances derived from Invisalign®, molar teeth can be realigned backwards (distalization), enabling sufficient space for tooth realignment without unnecessary tooth extraction. In comparison to traditional orthodontics, Invisalign® can reduce tooth extraction of up to 70%.
If children and teens have experienced a wide variety of dental problems, parents should seek medical attentions provided by expert orthodontists. While there are several options to straighten teeth, Invisalign® is an ideal option that is free of brackets and wires. Superior benefits include no visible braces and braces ulcers, more comfort without brushing or eating limitation, less time consumptions and preserved young teen’s self-esteem. In children who underwent traditional orthodontics such as metal braces, Invisalign® can be also considered for a better tooth alignment with improved cosmetic outcome and less gum irritation. Besides a proper bite, a perfect smile can be reshaped regardless of baby tooth concerns. Due to high adaptability of dental structure, Invisalign® is recommended to kids and adolescents for their flawless smiles and confidence.
For more information, please contact
Bangkok Hospital Dental Center Holistic Care and Dental Implant