Tools of the trade: Invisalign First


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clear aligners for children

by Dr Henry Ho, Smile Team Orthodontics, Fairy Meadow, NSW

Invisalign is mainly used with adults to replace fixed appliances such as braces. Patients really love that it’s a much more aesthetically pleasing option. Invisalign First is a new product specifically designed for use with children.

What’s good about it

Early intervention treatment is a very important part of orthodontics. A big issue is that often people can’t receive treatment until they have permanent dentition. This was a huge problem with children in the eight to 12 year age bracket who had a mix of deciduous and permanent teeth. Other problems included a premature loss of teeth, a constricted dental arch and dental protrusions due to thumb sucking or similar.

Invisalign First can deal with all those issues and provides an effective early interceptive treatment. Children have a much better treatment experience with Invisalign First as they don’t have to wear a fixed appliance that often cuts lips. There is no need to take impressions as a digital scanner is used to create a virtual model. Some kids also have a great deal of trouble maintaining their oral hygiene when wearing braces.

A big advantage of Invisalign First is that it doesn’t impact on kids’ sporting activities. They can just slip them off and wear a proper protective mouthguard when playing contact sport. 

Invisalign only works effectively if there is good compliance from the patient. Surprisingly, I’ve found that kids are often more compliant for more hours each day. Wearing Invisalign doesn’t cause them any discomfort and friends aren’t going to make any funny comments. 

What’s not so good

Some kids can be a bit rough and have broken the appliance. If they could be made a little stronger, that would be great. I guess it’s a balancing act between being flexible and comfortable, and being sturdy enough to survive some kids’ lifestyle.

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