Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment offered by a top pediatric orthodontist at Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC. Many children are good candidates for this treatment option, which straightens teeth using a series of removable plastic aligners. Since 1986, our dental practice has been making kids’ smiles straighter and brighter in the Upper East Side & central park area! Learn more about our Invisalign treatment for kids below, or request a consultation at our Fifth Avenue office.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that straightens your kid’s teeth using a custom-made series of clear aligners. The aligners are made of smooth and virtually invisible plastic, which gradually and gently shift teeth into place, based on the exact movements your orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. Invisalign can be used to straighten teeth, fix crowded teeth, and close gaps.
What Does The Invisalign Treatment For Kids Involve?
After an initial consultation with our NYC pediatric orthodontist, we will be able to determine whether your child is a good candidate for Invisalign treatment, as opposed to traditional braces or another orthodontic offering. If Invisalign is a good fit for your kid’s needs, the process will start with digital dental scans. These can be completed in our office using our cutting-edge iTero scanner. Your orthodontist can then send these scans to the laboratory in order to fabricate your child’s clear aligners. The iTero technology also allows him to digitally simulate the orthodontic outcomes your child can expect following treatment on a screen in the exam room.
Once the invisible aligners are fabricated, your child will be given a new set of aligners once every few weeks. With each new set, teeth will be moved into a straighter position until treatment is complete. Invisalign treatment length will vary depending on each child’s unique needs.
At the end of Invisalign treatment, patients will receive care instructions to ensure that their teeth remain straight and healthy for years to come. In some cases, a metal retainer may be recommended for nighttime use in order to keep teeth properly aligned.
Benefits Of Invisalign For Children
Invisalign offers numerous benefits for children, including:
- Clear aligners are virtually invisible
- Minimal interference with everyday life
- Involves no brackets or wires
- Aligners are comfortable to wear
- Aligners can be removed for easy cleaning
- Effective and beautiful results
- Involves no food restrictions, as compared with traditional braces
- iTero digital dental scans for aligners can be completed quickly and conveniently in-office
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Invisalign?
While Invisalign corrects most dental issues, children with severe bite issues may need more advanced treatment. For example, patients who have some types of crossbite may not be ideal candidates. The same can often apply to kids with severe underbites.
The best candidates for Invisalign are children needing mild or moderate orthodontic correction. These cases include:
- Gaps in teeth spacing
- Overcrowded teeth
- Mild overbites
- Mild underbites
- Mildly crooked teeth
- Improper tooth positioning
Additionally, the best Invisalign candidates follow the guidelines around wearing and removing their aligners regularly and properly—which is sometimes tricky for kids.
How Do I Prepare for Invisalign?
The best way to help your child prepare for Invisalign is to make sure they establish and maintain good oral health. Taking care of your teeth and gums is always essential, but it’s especially important when wearing aligners for 20-22 hours a day.
Another crucial preparation is finding an Invisalign specialist with substantial experience treating children. Your Invisalign specialist will be an integral part of your child’s journey to straighter teeth—from their initial consultation to the follow-up appointments—so choosing a top pediatric orthodontist is essential.
How Do I Maintain Invisalign Aligners?
Invisalign aligners need daily cleaning. Bacteria from food and drinks can build up quickly in the aligners, and regular cleaning keeps them clean and fresh. There are several cleaners explicitly designed for Invisalign.
We generally recommend soaking the aligners for about 20 minutes a day in a retainer cleaner, then rinsing and brushing the trays with a soft toothbrush to remove any additional bacteria buildup and prevent staining. We will provide detailed instructions.
Patients need to remove their aligners when eating, drinking, or brushing their teeth. Aligners can stay in when drinking water. Properly storing aligners when you need to remove them will keep them clean and intact. Your aligners will come in a storage case, which is the perfect place to keep them safe, so they don’t get lost or damaged.
Lastly, staying on schedule with swapping your aligners will keep your teeth-straightening process on track. While each patient’s treatment schedule is slightly different, patients typically wear each set of aligners for about two weeks. Therefore, tracking and maintaining your child’s schedule is key to their success.
How Often Should My Child Be Wearing Aligners?
Your child should wear their aligners for 20-22 hours a day. Aligners are only intended to be removed when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing.
It’s easy to underestimate how long these activities take, so we recommend setting a timer when your child takes their aligners out to see how quickly time spent eating and drinking adds up.
Wearing the aligners for 20-22 hours a day ensures that the treatment is successful and makes switching aligners less uncomfortable.
How Long Will My Child Need Aligners?
Every case is different, but most Invisalign adjustments for children take 12-18 months to complete. At your consultation with Park View Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we can evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs and discern a more accurate estimate of treatment length.
Schedule Your Child’s Invisalign Consultation
To learn more about Invisalign, call our office at 212.879.6518 or request an appointment with a top Invisalign provider at Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics by filling out the form on this page.