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Invisalign for Kids: A Straightforward Guide for Parents

A happy female dentist near a happy small girl on the dental patient chair

As a parent, it’s only natural to want your child to feel confident and proud of their smile. A bright, healthy smile can do wonders for their self-esteem. However, orthodontic issues can sometimes stand in the way. For a long time, traditional braces were the default solution for children’s orthodontic needs. Fortunately, there’s now an even more appealing option – invisible braces, with Invisalign for kids leading the way as the most sought-after brand.

Can Kids Get Invisalign?

Absolutely! Invisalign treatment can indeed benefit children. Depending on their age, there are two options available. For younger children, typically between 6-10 years old, there’s Invisalign First. This option gently guides their baby teeth and emerging permanent teeth into proper positions. As for pre-teens and teens, traditional Invisalign is often preferred. It can address a wider range of orthodontic concerns similar to how it works for adults. To determine the best option for your child’s individual needs, consulting with an orthodontist is recommended.

Invisalign for Kids: What is it and How Does it Work?

Invisalign for kids involves the use of a progressive set of clear, detachable aligners that delicately exert pressure to shift teeth into their intended position. In contrast to conventional braces, Invisalign is nearly undetectable, making it a subtle choice for kids who may feel self-conscious about their looks. Moreover, these aligners can be easily removed for hassle-free cleaning and eating.

Benefits of Invisalign for Kids

  • Discreet Appearance: Invisalign for kids is nearly invisible, which can significantly boost your child’s confidence.
  • Removable: The ability to remove the aligners for eating and cleaning makes maintaining oral hygiene during treatment much easier.
  • Greater Comfort: Invisalign for kids is typically more comfortable than traditional braces because no wires or brackets can irritate the cheeks and gums.
  • Less Maintenance: Unlike braces, there are no broken wires or brackets to worry about with Invisalign.
  • Fewer Dietary Restrictions: With Invisalign, your child can enjoy all their favorite foods without restriction. They must remove the aligners before eating and drinking anything other than water.
  • Improved Confidence: A straighter smile can significantly boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem.

When Can Your Child Begin Invisalign Treatment?

The ideal time to start Invisalign treatment for kids depends on their situation. Generally, Invisalign First is suitable for children as young as 6 years old. At the same time, traditional Invisalign is recommended for children with most or all of their permanent teeth erupted, typically around 12-13 years old. An orthodontist can assess your child’s teeth and jaw development to determine the best course of treatment.

Children’s Invisalign Process

The Invisalign treatment process for children is similar to that of adults. Here’s a general overview:

  • Initial Consultation: During the initial consultation, the orthodontist will examine your child’s teeth and jaw development, discuss their treatment goals, and determine if Invisalign is the right option.
  • Custom Treatment Plan: If Invisalign is a good fit for your child, the orthodontist will create a customized treatment plan using digital scans or X-rays of their teeth.
  • Receiving Aligners: A series of clear aligners will be custom-made for your child. They must wear each aligner for a prescribed period, typically 1-2 weeks, before switching to the next one in the series.
  • Wearing Aligners: To ensure optimal results, your child should wear the aligners for the recommended amount of time each day (usually 20-22 hours).
  • Monitoring Progress: Regular check-ups with the orthodontist will be necessary to monitor progress and ensure the aligners are fitting correctly.

Tips for Proper Invisalign Maintenance and Usage

  • Keep the Aligners Clean: Brushing and rinsing the aligners with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste after each meal will help prevent them from becoming stained or cloudy.
  • Remove Before Eating or Drinking: Always remove the aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water.
  • Store Them Properly: When not in use, store the aligners in their case to keep them safe and prevent them from getting lost.
  • Stick to Wear Schedule: Your child must wear the aligners for the prescribed amount each day to ensure the treatment stays on track.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor your child’s oral health and ensure the Invisalign treatment progresses as planned.

Is Invisalign Suitable for All Children and Teenagers?

Invisalign is a great option for many children and teenagers, but it’s not suitable for everyone. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Age: As mentioned earlier, Invisalign First is ideal for younger children (6-10 years old) with developing smiles. Traditional Invisalign is typically recommended for older children (pre-teens and teens) with most permanent teeth.
  • Compliance: To achieve successful results with Invisalign treatment, it is crucial that your child wears the aligners for the recommended duration every day. If there are concerns about your child being forgetful or losing the aligners, traditional braces may be a more suitable option to consider.
  • Severity of Orthodontic Issues: Invisalign is an excellent option for correcting various orthodontic issues. However, in situations where the case is particularly complex, traditional braces may offer more precise control and effectiveness. It’s important to have an orthodontist evaluate your child’s needs to determine the best course of treatment.


Invisalign for Kids is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment designed for children and teenagers. This cutting-edge solution provides a discreet, cozy, and highly efficient method to achieve a beautifully aligned smile. If you’re worried about your child’s orthodontic well-being, seeking guidance from a reputable orthodontist such as Central Park North Orthodontics should be your priority. They have the expertise to evaluate your child’s unique requirements and ascertain whether Invisalign is the most suitable option for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Invisalign is a fantastic option for children, taking into consideration the child’s age. Invisalign First is suitable for younger children between the ages of 6 and 10, as it assists in gently guiding the development of their teeth and creates room for permanent ones. For older kids, specifically pre-teens and teens, traditional Invisalign is a better fit, as it can address a wider range of orthodontic issues. The advantages are quite evident: the near invisibility of the aligners enhances confidence, the fact that they are removable makes oral hygiene easier, and there are fewer dietary restrictions compared to traditional braces.
Invisalign offers a specialized program called Invisalign First, which is designed for children as young as 6 years old. This program is tailored to address the unique needs of developing smiles. However, for more comprehensive orthodontic issues, it is generally advisable to wait until all adult teeth have emerged, which typically occurs around the ages of 12-13. It’s important to consult an orthodontist to assess your child’s individual needs and determine the best course of action.
Invisalign typically does not cause pain, but some people may experience temporary discomfort while adjusting to the new aligner trays. When you start using new aligners, you might feel some tightness or pressure for a few days. This sensation is usually a positive sign that the aligners are working as intended. Additionally, the smooth edges of the aligners could lead to minor gum or cheek irritation until your mouth gets used to them. It’s important to note that any discomfort experienced is generally mild and short-lived.
In many cases, Invisalign can provide a quicker orthodontic treatment option for children when compared to traditional braces. On average, Invisalign treatment for kids takes approximately 6-18 months, whereas traditional braces may require 20-24 months for completion. It’s important to note that the duration of treatment can vary based on the complexity of your child’s orthodontic needs. Nevertheless, the removable nature of Invisalign aligners allows for easier maintenance and potentially fewer orthodontic appointments as opposed to traditional braces.
The cost of Invisalign for kids typically ranges from $3,000 to $5,500. Insurance coverage can vary depending on the plan. Talk to your orthodontist and insurance provider about coverage details and potential payment plans.
Both options can work well for 12-year-olds. Invisalign offers discretion and easy cleaning but requires responsible wear. Braces provide more control for complex cases but require more maintenance and might limit some foods. Consult an orthodontist to determine the most suitable option for your child’s needs and personality.
Choosing between braces and Invisalign for your 12-year-old depends on their specific needs and personality. Invisalign tackles common issues like crowding or spacing and is nearly invisible with removable aligners for easy cleaning and eating. However, successful treatment relies on responsible wear (20-22 hours daily). Braces offer more control for complex cases and are always in place, but require more cleaning work and might limit some foods.
Picture of Dr. Nimesh Patel

Dr. Nimesh Patel

Dr. Patel is an orthodontist and maintains a private practice in Rome, NY. He completed his undergraduate education at the Ohio State University. Then, he earned his Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. After earning his doctorate, Dr. Patel attended a three-year, dual-degree residency at Columbia University in New York City. Here, he earned his certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics as well as earning a Masters in Oral Biology. During his time off, Dr. Patel likes to stay active by jogging, biking, and hiking.

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