Clear Aligners for Kids and Teens - Things to Know

teeth aligners for kids
Crooked, misaligned teeth and bite issues are common in children and teenagers. The reasons could be anything from genetics to unhealthy habits like thumb sucking and injury to disproportionate jaws. But if treated on time, it helps in straightening the teeth, corrects bite, and solves chewing and speech issues. While most parents opt for traditional braces for their children, many of them are now migrating toward clear aligners. If you are also planning to get clear aligners for your child, then these are the few things you need to know.

The right age 

Clear aligners are recommended for children who have lost all their deciduous teeth (baby teeth or milk teeth) and their adult teeth have started erupting through the gums. Until a child has a fully developed jawline, teeth-straightening treatment with clear aligners will not yield results. Teenagers, on the other hand, already have a fully formed adult jawline. At this stage, their teeth undergo natural movement and altering their position becomes easy.

Dental care

Clear aligners need regular oral care — brushing/flushing is a must once in the morning, once before bedtime, and after every meal. The aligners also need cleaning before being reinserted every time. While it might seem like a lot of work for a child, it instills good dental hygiene habits. Consistent brushing/flossing will keep the teeth free from decay and plaque, and also keep gum diseases at bay right from an early age.

Food habits

Unlike metal braces, there’s no need to follow any specific diet plan while wearing clear aligners. Your child can eat everything but only after removing the aligners and they should follow all the oral hygiene protocols. However, children, especially teens, have a habit of snacking multiple times a day and if the aligner is taken out too many times, it could affect the treatment’s efficiency. Hence, it is important to ensure your child sticks to larger meals than several small ones.

Chances of misplacing

For best results, clear aligners need to be worn for at least 20-22 hours a day. However, kids often forget to reinsert them on time after eating and sometimes even misplace them. You will have to regularly remind your child to wear them back and try not to lose them. And in case of loss of a particular set, you can inform the orthodontist or provider for a replacement. Wearing clear aligners requires a bit of discipline, which if adhered to, your child will get cleaner teeth and a straighter smile. We suggest you consult with an orthodontist before going ahead with the treatment. After all, your child’s physical appearance is dependent on this.