What Age should you start Invisalign?
Invisalign has swept the dental world by storm and many consider it a superior alternative to braces. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While Invisalign has demonstrated remarkable success with adults and older teens, it is not geared toward children. There are many reasons for this.
Permanent Teeth must all come in before Invisalign is Possible
Averaging around $4,000 to $7,500, Invisalign clear aligners have a cost on par with that of traditional metal braces, which cost between $3,000 and $7,000. However, the similarity in cost doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable in diagnosis. Young children are ineligible for Invisalign if they have not yet lost all their baby teeth or received all their adult teeth. For them to start Invisalign, all their permanent teeth need to come in first. This ends differently for each kid, but it usually ages twelve through thirteen.
Difference in Success Rates between Invisalign and Braces
Another factor is that Invisalign provides only about 43% improvement, while braces boast 90-95%. Also, keep in mind that Invisalign is meant to treat more minor orthodontic problems. It can’t fix more severe malocclusions such as underbites, crossbites, or gapped teeth. If your child has a severe dental complication, Invisalign is not the right choice.
Levels of Conscientiousness
Teenagers and adults love Invisalign clear aligners because they’re transparent. Teens are usually very self-conscious, so they like the ability to shape their smile discreetly. Adults usually aren’t (as) self-conscious, but they enjoy shaping their teeth without having to look like teenagers.
Both classes cash in on Invisalign’s discretion, but younger children usually aren’t as conscientious so the prominent benefit of Invisalign would end up lost on them.
Maturity and Dedication of the Child
There is another consideration. Is your child responsible enough to wear and care for the aligners? He must wear them for twenty-two hours a day, taking them out only to eat, drink, brush or floss. When he takes them out, will he take care not to lose them?
If a set is lost, we will replace it for free the first time. But each lost aligner after that will cost $100 apiece to replace (double for the whole set). Your kid will aggravate everyone if he keeps losing aligners since we will need to remake them, you’ll write the check, and your kid won’t receive the effects of the aligners if he isn’t wearing them. Worse still, some dental and orthodontic practices are Invisalign-preferred providers, so they try to sell their patients on Invisalign even if they don’t always need it, only to further their profit!
Dentists often deal with parents who ask for treatments for their children even though the children are at an age where the treatment wouldn’t make sense, even if it’s highly safe. For instance, sometimes moms and dads request teeth whitening for children as young as five years old! While we want the best for your kids just as you do, please recognize that there are boundaries we don’t feel comfortable crossing.
For more information, please contact our office at (614) 427-0449.