Starting Young: Invisalign Braces for Teens
Generally, it is recommended that your child’s second molars (also known as their “twelve-year-old molars”) have come in. Looking at statistics for the North Carolina area, this has usually happened by the time kids are the age of 14 or so. This is the minimum recommended age for Invisalign.
(However, it has been our experience, throughout our North Carolina offices, that girls mature a little faster than boys when it comes to their developing teeth, and so they might be eligible a little earlier than boys.)
As long as this requirement (second molars in) has been met, your teenager is probably eligible for treatment with Invisalign.
In fact, there is a treatment option available in North Carolina (and elsewhere) called Invisalign Teen which was specifically developed for teenagers. Invisalign Teen differs slightly from the usual Invisalign course of treatment:
- The program allows for extra aligners, in case they get lost or damaged (for example, when playing sports).
- Invisalign aligners for teenager evolve as new molars begin erupting, helping to guide new teeth perfect position. In other words, it grows with your teenager as new teeth emerge.
- The aligners also have special features to guide teeth roots into place, so the changes are longer lasting.
- Finally, Invisalign Teen comes with extra tools to help ensure that your son or daughter is complying with treatment and heading towards success.
What Are Considerations Other Than The Invisalign Minimum Age?
All that said, there are a few other things to consider before signing your teenager up for Invisalign Teen:
- They need to have the maturity to comply with the treatment program. The aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours a day, and need to be properly stored and protected when not in use. They will also need proper cleaning.
- There should be no significant tooth decay or damage. Invisalign is great for many cases where teeth need to be properly aligned. Decayed or damaged teeth, however, can make the process ineffective and/or painful. Any other oral health problems should be addressed first.
- All baby teeth should be out. Our mouths all develop at different rates; so, sometimes even a teenager still has some of his or her baby teeth. If this is the case, your child will need to wait until those baby teeth have come out.
What About Invisalign for Adults?
There technically is no minimum age for traditional Invisalign, but it is specifically designed for adults over the age of 18. If you or your child are right at this cut-off, you should consider: Have all teeth come in, including third molars (“wisdom teeth”)? And will you or your child have the motivation to finish the course of treatment independently?
If the answer to both of these questions is “Yes,” then you can consider a traditional course of Invisalign. However, both are effective, so do not feel pressured to “graduate up” to adult Invisalign unless you Orthodontist urges you to do so.
We should also note that there is no maximum age for Invisalign. We’ve had patients in the 40s, 50s, and even 60s try it and achieve wonderful results!
Invisalign Options in North Carolina (and Southern Virginia)
Here at the Happy Tooth, we’ve seen patients of all ages get the smile they want with Invisalign. We can work with you or your child, no matter whether we’re working with someone who is 14 or 64
To get started, simply locate an office near you and contact us for a free consultation. While waiting for your appointment, you can also learn more by downloading our free eBook.
Want to explore Invisalign as it compares to braces?
We invite you to download our free eBook on this subject.