Early Interceptive Orthodontic Option- Invisalign First
Many parents ask us when the right time is to start thinking about orthodontic treatment for their children. At Arlington Smile Center, LLC we start our evaluation of your children’s dental alignment at age 3 and monitor it closely every 6 months.
We find that many patients already have developed a malocclusion by age 3 and can tremendously benefit from an early interceptive orthodontic treatment like Invisalign First. If we can get the children into interceptive treatment while their jaws are still developing ideally before the age of 6, we know the child is most likely not to have relapse of their interceptive orthodontic treatment since we created the room for the permanent teeth to find a home in the right position. Although, The American Association of Orthodontists, generally recommends to start orthodontics at the age of 7, at Arlington Smile Center, LLC we feel the sooner that we get a head start in correcting any oral habits that are creating his or her malocclusion the sooner we can avoid orthodontic treatment all together. We also know the earlier we start interceptive orthodontics gives us the best chance at permanent results that do not require retention of permanent teeth.
The goals of early treatment are to prevent a problem from occurring, correct a current problem or help direct jawbone growth. Multiple problems with tooth alignment, gums, jaws and facial problems can be corrected with Phase 1 treatment.
Kids often display early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. We can examine and monitor your child’s growth to determine the most effective time to start treatment. Our goal is to help create the conditions that allow your child’s permanent teeth to erupt normally. There are certain appliances that allow us to do that. One of them is called Invisalign First ~ Phase 1
What are the benefits of early Invisalign treatment for children?
A few KEY benefits of using Invisalign in children include:
Usually children will listen to their parents instructions and not argue with them. We know that we can control our kids much easier before they enter their rebellious teens.... Which makes it easier to get them to comply with the treatment instructions for wearing their Invisalign trays.
Hygiene is much better with Invisalign, compared to fixed traditional braces since you can take out your trays to brush and floss and food does not get stuck in your brackets
There is less discomfort during the treatment There are no dietary restrictions, as with fixed appliances, since you take invisalign off to eat and drink anything except water. Invisalign reduces or eliminates the need for emergency visits during treatment
When children start with Invisalign First Phase I, there is no need to pay for comprehensive Invisalign treatment, instead if Phase II is needed it is less than half the price of comprehensive ortho which results in saved money for the patient’s family.
Invisalign reduces the risk of cavities that we typically see from braces since flossing is so time consuming while wearing braces, with invisalign you just remove and floss and brush and put them back on.
If we do invisalign instead of braces we don’t see the dreadful white spots that are seen when the metal brackets are removed from the many months of plaque accumalation around the bracket.
Invisalign is so comfortable, kids wear them during sports so it protects the teeth if they are injured.
Unlike the rapid palatal expander that is cemented in the palate for several months, when children wear their Invisalign aligners their palate is not covered by any material so the children can continue to hold their tongue in proper position, which is the roof of the mouth. If the palate is left covered by the metal from the Rapid Palatal Exapnder ( RPE) the children may form incorrect habits like holding their tongue on the floor of the mouth which promotes mouth breathing and tongue thrusting or reverse swallow. If the tongue can live in the palate where is should be the child is able to keep the essential habit of nasal breathing and correct swallow instead of starting wrong habits of incorrect oral posture.
The most impressive feature that we can do with invisalign is expand the palate more than we can with traditional rapid palatal expanders. Meaning that with a rapid palatal often we don’t get the desired expansion. We are also moving the palate so quickly we are hoping the bone has time to fill in the gap. However, if we start invisalign first early enough we can open the palate earlier than age 7 which is when the orthodontist usually will start phase 1 treatment with braces and gradually open the palate with no pain and minimal relapse. With Invisalign First we just need the child to have a total of 4 permanent first molars and two lower incisors and we can start expanding. If we finish expansion before age 7 we have almost a guarantee that the arch will stay expanded without retainers.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later, such as: Cross-bite, Crowding, Open bite, Deep overbite, and gaps between teeth
Another prudent benefit from early orthodontic treatment is the chance to catch bad oral habits, such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallow, and grinding before it is harder to reverse the old habits and start new healthy oral habits that will last the rest of their life.
Why at Arlington Smile Center, LLC is orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7 considered too late for the optimal time for screening?
On average by the age of 6, most kids are erupting their first , adult molars and, establishing the bite of their back teeth. Often, especially in girls, we see the first permanent molars erupted in the mouth by the age of 5 years old. Likewise, by age 5 many kids are already losing their anterior baby teeth and the new anterior permanent incisors don’t have any room to erupt.. Often we see permanent teeth trying to erupt but the baby tooth is still present which is an indication that the child’s arch is not wide enough in its current condition, We know the conditions are just going to get worse. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile and gives us an even less likely hood of decay starting on these new permanent editions to their mouth.
Benefits of early screening and orthodontic treatment with Invisalign include:
*Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
*Creating facial symmetry
*Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
*Preserving space for unerupted teeth
*Reducing the need for tooth removal (extraction cases)
*Reducing treatment time during Phase II treatment stage
*Increasing space for nose breathing and airway space which opens up a myriad of improvement in many aspects of medical health.
We highly recommend an initial visit which will allow us to advise if any interceptive work is needed in order to ensure proper growth and development of your child’s dentofacial structures.