An Alternative to Metal Mouth? Invisalign First for Young Children

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*This is a sponsored post created in partnership with Foote Orthodontics*

Is your child destined for a mouthful of expensive, cumbersome braces? In our generation, it was almost impossible to avoid, but new technology like Invisalign is a much more palatable solution (pun intended) for some families. Dr. Catherine Foote of Foote Orthodontics in Bryn Mawr offers advice on the benefits and possibilities.

The eruption of the first adult teeth (molars) tends to occur around age 6, and by 8-8.5 years of age, the front four upper and lower adult incisors have burst through. At this stage, typically around age 8 or 9, an orthodontist should evaluate your child to ensure there is sufficient space to allow for the canines and premolars to also erupt. Early evaluation and treatment can yield many positive results, including:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing positive jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Correcting harmful oral habits (thumb/finger sucking)
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time for future orthodontic care
  • Improving self-esteem, image, and correcting some speech problems

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing significant problems later.

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Phase I, or early interceptive, orthodontic treatment is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10 to address significant space problems. This treatment typically involves expansion of the upper jaw to relieve crowding which prevents eruption issues from becoming more severe. With Phase I treatment, the secondary Phase II treatment (when all of the adult teeth have erupted) is a significantly shorter and easier phase of orthodontics than if there had been no early intervention.

With the technological advancement of Invisalign, young children, tweens, and teens can navigate those, at times, socially and developmentally awkward periods, without the hassle of traditional metal braces.

In young children, Invisalign First aligners achieve bony base expansion. Aligner expansion is recommended in mild to moderately crowded cases. The benefits to expansion with aligners include better hygiene, less concern over problematic foods, fewer emergency appointments (no poking wires, broken braces), and longer appointment intervals. (Check out a few kids with aligners here!)

Aligners are worn full time and removed for eating and brushing. Traditional Rapid Palatal Expansion (RPE) achieves sutural expansion. RPE is recommended in moderate to severely crowded cases. The benefit of this type of expansion is that it quickly creates space, which is needed in cases with impacted teeth or severe crowding. At Foote Orthodontics, when RPE is needed it is combined with lower Invisalign aligners to develop both upper and lower arches simultaneously.

Are Invisalign aligners right for your child for Phase I orthodontic treatment? Contact Foote Orthodontics to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Foote Orthodontics serves both children and adults in the Main Line and surrounding areas. Drs. Catherine Foote and Cara Piskai make it a priority to spend time with each patient and their family at every appointment so no question will go unanswered. They utilize the latest technological advances including Invisalign and the Itero Scanner to ensure that you receive the most effective and comfortable care possible. Learn more and make an appointment at www.footeorthodontics.com.