Invisalign in Teens: What You Need to Know

Is it possible to use Invisalign in teens? Find out everything you need to know about invisible orthodontics in adolescents.
Invisalign in Teens: What You Need to Know
Vanesa Evangelina Buffa

Reviewed and approved by the dentist Vanesa Evangelina Buffa.

Last update: 17 February, 2023

In recent times, invisible orthodontics have gained popularity thanks to their discretion and comfort. But is it possible to use Invisalign® in teens?

Orthodontic treatments are very common at this stage of life, as it’s an ideal time to correct bite problems. On the one hand, by now, teens have completed the dental replacement of childhood, and on the other hand, there’s still a time of bone growth ahead.

But, in this stage of so many physical changes, young people are very concerned about their physical appearance. So, adding wires and brackets to their smile can be a source of embarrassment, complexities, and even a refusal of treatment.

Therefore, not only is it possible to use Invisalign® in teens, but it’s become an option that’s increasingly sought after by young people. That’s because it offers the possibility of correcting occlusal defects with a device that goes unnoticed. Keep stop reading and find out more about this new method.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisaling® is a type of invisible orthodontics that’s used to correct occlusion problems and dental malpositions. It consists of the use of very discreet transparent aligners, which can be removed quickly and easily.

Its use is very practical and allows patients to put the aligners on and remove them, both to eat and to conduct oral hygiene. However, for the treatment to progress and work, they must be used for at least 22 hours a day.

Every so often, generally every 2 weeks, the dentist will indicate the need to replace the devices. This allows the appliances to apply the force necessary to move the teeth to the desired position.

The aligners are tailored to the mouth of each patient, and a transparent thermoplastic material is used that makes them almost imperceptible to the eye.

A teenage girl holding an invisalign device.

Invisalign in teens: The specifics

What we’ve mentioned so far are the general characteristics of the aligner system, but the use of Invisalign® in teens has some specific characteristics that differentiate it from conventional treatment. In fact, they make it more suitable for use in children between the ages of 11 and 18.

Next, we’ll share the characteristics of Invisalign in teens:

  • Usage controllers: These are blue indicators that disappear as the device is used. This allows parents and the dentist to control the time of use of the aligner.
  • Additional splints: Invisalign® treatment in adolescents includes some additional sets of aligners to use in cases of loss or breakage. And that’s free of charge.
  • Dental development guides: They have a compensation system for canines, premolars, and second molars when they’re not in the mouth. In addition, it acts as a guide for the dental eruption of the final pieces that haven’t yet finished emerging.

The total treatment time varies according to the needs and complexity of the clinical case. But in general, with responsible use of the device, it usually takes between 12 to 18 months.

When is Invisalign® used in adolescents?

Invisalign in teens can be used to treat almost all bite problems and to align malpositioned teeth. Open bites, crossed bites, overbites, crowding, and diastemas can be solved with this type of appliance.

In most cases, they replace the need for braces and achieve the same results. Just the same, the last word always comes from the orthodontist, who will recommend the most suitable option for each child.

Advantages of Invisalign in teens

We’ve already mentioned the aesthetic factor that invisible aligners achieve, but in adolescents, they provide many more advantages when compared to traditional orthodontic treatments. Among them, the following stand out:

  • Removability: They can be removed to eat, brush teeth, take photos, attend an important event, and even kiss.
  • Hygiene: They don’t interfere with dental hygiene, as they can be removed for brushing and flossing.
  • Comfort: Because they don’t have brackets or wires that poke or rub against the tissue of the mouth, they’re much more comfortable to wear. In addition, injuries, sores, and wounds in the soft tissues are avoided. Finally, with these aligners, emergencies are less likely.
  • Safety: They can be used during sports without the risk of getting stuck in the lips and gums in the case of an accident.
  • Predictability: In the pre-treatment stage, software is used to visualize the final result of the smile.
  • They don’t affect eating: By removing the aligners, you can maintain your usual diet without having to avoid any food, as is the case with braces.
  • They promote self-esteem: Since there are no wires or brackets that affect the appearance of the smile, there’s less risk of teasing or embarrassment.

Another advantage is that they reduce the number of consultations with specialists, as they usually take place every 6 to 8 weeks. In the case of brackets, visits to the orthodontist are more frequent.

An orthodontist fitting a teen for invisalign.

Commitment to treatment

After knowing all the advantages that Invisalign® offers in adolescents, it’s important to mention that this treatment requires a lot of commitment from the patient. Success depends, to a large extent, on the young person wearing the appliance for the entire amount of time indicated by the orthodontist.

To achieve the desired results, the aligners should be worn most of the day. Even though it’s possible to remove them from the mouth, they should only be removed to eat, to sanitize them, and to brush your teeth.

When the devices are removed, they must be stored in their case to prevent them from being lost. And before putting them back in, you must perform thorough dental hygiene and a good cleaning of the splints.

Using a soft bristle brush and cold running water will suffice to keep the aligners in good condition. A deeper cleaning every 1 or 2 weeks, with antiseptic tablets for prostheses, will allow you to eliminate the residue that daily cleaning can’t remove.

Being attentive to the replacement of the aligners, visiting the orthodontist at the indicated times, and following their recommendations is also essential in order for the treatment to continue its proper course. With responsibility and discipline, adolescents can achieve a beautiful smile with cosmetic devices such as Invisalign®.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Harnick, D. J., & Briceño, J. (2011). Invisalign Teen. Rev Esp Ortod41, 260-6.
  • Araujo, A. M., Ribas, M. A., Trías, M. Á. M., & Fernández-Bozal, J. (2016). Tratamiento de maloclusión clase III con alineadores estéticos (Invisalign®). Revista Española de Ortodoncia46(2), 78-85.
  • Velo, C. P. E. Comparación entre Invisalign® y el tratamiento de brackets tradicional desde el punto de vista de la higiene bucodental. Evidencia científica.
  • Mendoza, B. S. (2015). Predictibilidad de la expansión con el sistema Invisalign (Doctoral dissertation, Universidad de Sevilla).
  • Ladewig, V. D. M., Ladewig, S. F. A. D. M., & Ladewig, N. D. M. (2020). Tratamento de diastemas generalizados seguindo protocolo de decomposição de movimentação com o Sistema Invisalign®. Ortho Sci., Orthod. sci. pract, 122-128.
  • Saltos, V. I. A., Pérez, A. F., & Catillo, J. Q. Sistema Invisalign: Revisión bibliográfica.
  • Antonio Zancajo, L. (2019). Estudio comparativo del dolor orofacial utilizando diferentes técnicas de ortodoncia: lingual, vestibular y alineadores (Invisalign®).
  • Monteiro, M. P. M. (2015). Sistema Invisalign®: Aplicações em ortodontia (Doctoral dissertation, [sn]).
  • Rivero, J. C., Yeste, F., & Nogal, A. (2017). Tratamiento de las maloclusiones con ortodoncia transparente. RCOE22(2), 87-96.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.