August 15, 2022
When most people think of orthodontics, they associate it with teenagers wearing bulky and uncomfortable braces. However, modern orthodontics is not just for children and teenagers. Many adults are using Invisalign clear aligners to get the smile they’ve always wanted.
While patients of all ages can receive orthodontic treatment, what’s the best age for Invisalign? Keep reading to explore how Invisalign works for different ages.
In general, Invisalign clear aligners will be most effective and efficient for patients who are between 10 and 14 years of age. At this stage, the patient has lost nearly all of their baby teeth, and their jawbone is still soft and responsive to repositioning.
However, patients of all ages can benefit from Invisalign treatment. As long as they are a good candidate for treatment and they can wear their aligners as directed, Invisalign will be effective for any patient regardless of their age.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic check-up no later than 7 years of age. At this age, children typically have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, and they may be a good candidate for Invisalign First.
While 7 year-old children do not have all their permanent teeth, an orthodontist can examine their mouth to catch spacing and alignment issues early on. This is commonly referred to as Phase 1 treatment or early intervention. By identifying and treating these problems while they’re still minor, the orthodontist can make room for incoming teeth and avoid more extensive treatment later on.
At our orthodontic practice, we offer Invisalign First for our young and growing patients. This system of clear aligners is specifically designed for children, and it can achieve amazing results quickly and comfortably.
Most orthodontic patients begin treatment during their teen years – between the ages of 14 and 20. In this age range, all of the patient’s permanent teeth have likely erupted, but the jawbone is still soft enough to realign the teeth and bite quickly.
While braces are an effective option at this age, many teens are reluctant to wear wires and brackets on their teeth. Luckily, most teenagers are a good candidate for Invisalign Teen, a system of clear aligners specifically designed for a teenager’s lifestyle.
The Invisalign Teen system is an adaptation of traditional Invisalign, and it's fairly consistent with the aligners that our adult patients wear. Invisalign Teen aligners are easily removable, and they contain a built-in wear indicator to help teens remember when to progress to the next set of aligners (usually bi-weekly).
If your teenager is an athlete, they will be glad to know that Invisalign won’t interfere with their sports activities. Clear aligners are made of plastic, and they won’t “poke” the wearer’s mouth to cause injuries.
While Invisalign Teen is a great option for busy teenagers, it is important that the patient stays committed to their treatment plan. For Invisalign Teen to shift the teeth as quickly and as effectively as possible, teens must wear the clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day. If your teen might forget to put the aligners back in after eating, they may be a better fit for other treatment options.
While the tissues in an adult’s mouth have hardened (making them less responsive to treatment), Invisalign has been proven as an effective treatment for adults of all ages – all the way up to 80 years of age.
Invisalign was initially developed for adults who experienced a “relapse” in their tooth movement after not wearing their post-treatment retainer. However, Invisalign has improved a great deal since its introduction to the market, and it can now treat a wide variety of orthodontic problems.
Many adults choose Invisalign because it’s easy to fit into a busy schedule. Since patients can progress their aligners at home, they only need to visit the orthodontist’s office for a quick appointment every other month.
While Invisalign is a good fit for most patients, some adults may be better suited for traditional braces. When you visit an orthodontist for an Invisalign consultation, they will examine your mouth and check your bone density to see whether you will be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment.
Whether you’re interested in Invisalign First for your child, Invisalign Teen for your teenager, or adult Invisalign for yourself, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with an experienced orthodontist. At Sharp Orthodontics, we treat patients in every age group, and we’re ready to help you reach the smile of your dreams.
With Invisalign clear aligners, we can treat a wide variety of issues quickly and effectively, including overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, gaps between teeth, and crowded teeth. To learn more about Invisalign treatment for yourself or your child, schedule a complimentary smile exam today!