Is Invisalign suitable for children? Suitability & Benefits

Clear aligners seem like the perfect orthodontic choice for many individuals. Invisalign, for instance, provides an almost invisible treatment solution with trays that can be effortlessly removed as necessary. This feature allows for uninterrupted dietary preferences and regular oral hygiene habits. While these advantages are especially advantageous for adults, they lead us to the question: Is Invisalign suitable for children? 

Before delving into this question, let’s first explore common orthodontic issues and understand why both adults and children may opt for Invisalign aligners.

What are Orthodontic Issues in Children? 

Orthodontic issues in children refer to a variety of dental problems that can affect their oral health and overall well-being. These commonly include:


This occurs when there is insufficient space in the jaw for teeth to erupt properly. It can lead to teeth overlapping, twisting, or growing in misaligned positions, which can affect oral hygiene and increase the risk of dental decay and gum disease.


Misalignment refers to crooked, rotated, or unevenly spaced teeth. It can result from genetic factors, thumb-sucking habits, or early loss of primary teeth. Misalignment affects not only the aesthetics of the smile but also oral function and the ability to clean teeth effectively.

Bite Problems: 

Bite problems include overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites, which affect how the upper and lower teeth fit together when biting or chewing. These issues can cause difficulty in chewing food, speech impediments, and uneven wear on teeth.

Invisalign for Children: A Removable Orthodontic Option

Invisalign is a modern orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligner trays to shift the teeth into proper alignment. These trays are custom-made for each individual and are removable, making them a popular choice for both adults and children.

What are the advantages of Invisalign for Children

Some advantages of removable aligners for children include:

  1. Removability: Aligners can be easily taken out for eating, brushing, and special occasions, allowing children to have their regular diet and maintain oral hygiene routines.
  2. Aesthetics: Clear aligners are virtually invisible, reducing self-consciousness during treatment, especially for older children and teenagers.
  3. Comfort: Smooth aligner material reduces irritation to gums and cheeks compared to traditional braces with wires and brackets.
  4. Sports and Activities: Aligners can be temporarily removed during sports or musical activities involving mouth instruments, providing flexibility and comfort.

Comparison of Invisalign for Children vs Traditional Braces: 

Aspect Invisalign for Children Traditional Braces for Children
Aesthetics Nearly invisible Visible metal brackets and wires
Removability Removable for eating and hygiene Fixed on teeth throughout treatment
Comfort Smooth aligner material Wires and brackets may cause irritation
Oral Hygiene Easy to maintain hygiene Requires special care and tools for cleaning
Treatment Duration Similar to braces Treatment duration varies based on the complexity
Food Restrictions No, aligners can be removed Restrictions on certain foods to avoid damage


Effectiveness of Invisalign in Treating Children 

Several studies and clinical trials have truly shown the effectiveness of Invisalign for children in treating orthodontic issues. 

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics compared Invisalign treatment outcomes in adolescent patients with mild to moderate malocclusions against traditional braces. The results showed comparable effectiveness in achieving desired tooth movements and bite corrections with both treatment modalities. 

Similarly, a survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists reported high patient satisfaction rates among children and teenagers undergoing Invisalign treatment.

The Role of Child’s Age in Orthodontic Treatment 

The role of a child’s age in orthodontic treatment is pivotal, especially when considering options like Invisalign vs traditional braces. 

Invisalign’s effectiveness in children varies based on their age and the complexity of their orthodontic needs. Younger children, typically pre-teens, may benefit more from traditional braces due to their ability to provide precise control over tooth movement, especially in complex cases or ongoing dental development stages. 

On the other hand, older children and teenagers, with most of their adult teeth in place, may find Invisalign appealing due to its nearly invisible aligners, promoting better compliance and aesthetic outcomes. 

What are Other Orthodontic Options Beyond Invisalign for Children? 

Here are some other options for correcting Orthodontic issues:

Lingual Braces: 

Lingual braces are placed on the inner surfaces of your teeth, so they’re not easily seen from the outside.

  • Pros: They’re a subtle treatment option because they’re not easily seen when smiling. Additionally, they work well for complex cases that need careful tooth movements.
  • Cons: They may initially cause discomfort to the tongue, require more frequent adjustments, and are typically more expensive due to customization.

Ceramic Braces: 

Ceramic braces are designed with brackets and wires that match the color of your teeth or are clear, helping them blend in with the tooth color for a more natural appearance.

  • Pros: They are less noticeable than traditional metal braces, making them aesthetically appealing. They are more effective for moderate to severe orthodontic issues.
  • Cons: They can be more prone to staining from certain foods and beverages. They may also cause slight discomfort due to the ceramic material.

Tooth-Colored Braces: 

Tooth-colored braces use brackets and wires that match the color of teeth, providing a more subtle appearance.

  • Pros: They are less noticeable than metal braces, which is great for people who are conscious about how they look. Additionally, they work well to fix different kinds of orthodontic problems.
  • Cons: Similar to ceramic braces, they can stain with time if proper dental hygiene is not maintained. They may also be slightly more visible than lingual or ceramic options.

Concerns About Self-Consciousness During Orthodontic Treatment 

Orthodontic treatment, while essential for oral health, can sometimes trigger self-consciousness in children. 

Common concerns include –

  • worries about the visibility of braces or aligners, 
  • changes in speech and 
  • Social perceptions related to wearing orthodontic appliances. 

These concerns may affect a child’s confidence and social interactions during treatment.


Is Invisalign suitable for children? The suitability of Invisalign for children depends on various factors such as their age, orthodontic issues, and level of responsibility. While Invisalign offers many advantages, including removability and aesthetics, consulting with an orthodontic specialist is crucial to determining the best treatment option for your child’s specific needs.

Ready to give your child the gift of a confident smile? 

Look no further than Little Diamonds Pediatric Dentistry in Arlington, VA. Our experienced team specializes in Invisalign for children. Book an appointment online now or call us at (571) 281-8714 to get started on their journey to a brighter, healthier smile!


Can children of any age use Invisalign? 

Invisalign is suitable for older children and teenagers with most adult teeth but may not be recommended for very young children whose teeth are still developing.

How long does Invisalign treatment typically last for children? 

The duration of Invisalign treatment varies based on the complexity of the orthodontic issues but generally ranges from 6 months to 2 years for children.

Are there any food restrictions with Invisalign for children?

One of the benefits of Invisalign is the ability to remove aligners for eating, allowing children to enjoy their favorite foods without any restrictions. However, aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day for optimal results.