Can Children Wear Invisalign?

invisalign

Almost everybody knows what metal braces are and just how effective they can be when it comes to correcting a variety of dental problems. But, as much as they’ve been proven to work, braces aren’t exactly the only option available these days. Invisalign, for example, uses clear aligners that can straighten teeth just as effectively as braces can. The only difference is that it doesn’t suffer from all the notable drawbacks, such as the ‘unsightly’ appearance of having metal braces on your mouth, making changes to your usual brushing and flossing routine, and having to avoid certain types of food, among many other things.

That being said, it’s no secret that Invisalign has become a popular alternative to metal braces these days. And, if you’re a parent, you might be wondering, can my child wear Invisalign? Better yet, is it safe for children?

Children and Invisalign

The answer? A resounding yes. Invisalign is just as safe and as effective in adults as it is in children. The problem here, though, is that Invisalign’s advantages could end up working against its favor if it’s not worn by a responsible and mature adult.

Why so? For starters, the main advantage of wearing Invisalign retainers over traditional braces is that you can remove them anytime. But, for the treatment to be effective, you’ll need to wear the retainers for at least 20 hours a day. This means you’ll have to wear them wear them pretty much the whole day, removing them only when you’re eating, brushing your teeth and flossing, or for the occasional night out, meetings, and so on. However, when it comes to kids, it’s not unusual nor unheard of for them to remove it every now and then out of curiosity. They may sometimes forget to put it back on, or forget where they put it, or take it off for far too long. Either one of those scenarios can greatly affect the treatment process, potentially making it even more expensive and in worse cases, completely undermine it.

It’s also a well-known fact that kids just aren’t as vain as adults, and that most kids often wear traditional braces. Unlike adults who opt for Invisalign mostly because it’s “low key” and that it doesn’t make them look different, it’s not exactly that hard to convince a child to wear traditional braces since other kids are probably wearing them too.

Should Your Child Wear Invisalign?

Both traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners are equally effective when it comes to correct a variety of dental issues. This means that you should base your decision on how you feel and how much you trust your child. After all, everyone is different, including children. Your child may be more mature and responsible compared to others, and can be trusted with Invisalign.

Regardless of whether you choose Invisalign or not, what’s important is that you are there for your child. Encourage your child, take the time to listen to his or her fears and anxiety, especially if it’s about the treatment. Try to do your research and familiarize yourself with the treatment as well to make it easier for you to explain things to your child.

For more information on Invisalign or other questions about your child’s oral health, call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

 

The Effects of Thumb Sucking On Children’s Mouths | Hoboken Pediatric Dentist

thumb sucking

 Thumb sucking is something many parents worry about as their babies grow up and become toddlers. Parents often wonder whether to let the habit be, or if they should do something to stop it.

Is It Normal?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), thumb sucking or finger sucking is a natural reflex that’s seen even during an infant’s development in the womb. This said reflex can be soothing and may help your child feel secure and happy. The habit may also help to induce sleep. As such, it’s not unusual for toddlers and infants to suck their thumbs in the evening before going to sleep.

Until When Is It Considered Normal?

The ADA recommends that the best time to start discouraging thumb sucking behavior in children is by the age of four. Around this time, prolonged sucking could affect your child’s developing jaw and teeth, and cause permanent teeth to become misaligned.

If the habit continues well beyond the age of five or six, the constant pressure of the sucking motion will begin to have an effect on the mouth and teeth. The front teeth, for example, may protrude, leading to what’s commonly known as ‘buck teeth’. The child’s bite may also become open, a dental disorder where the upper and lower front teeth cannot touch. Even worse, thumb sucking will begin to have an effect on the alignment of not only the permanent teeth, but also the secondary ones.

In these cases, a general dentist will usually provide a referral to an orthodontist or pediatric dentist. If necessary, the dental professional may prescribe a crib, which is a dental appliance placed in the roof of the mouth to help discourage thumb sucking. The bite will then eventually correct itself if the habit is stopped in time.

Discouraging The Habit

More often than not, the best way to discourage thumb sucking is to ignore the behavior. Once they’re exposed to various social situations, children eventually figure out on their own that this behavior is not ‘normal’.

If, however, the habit persists beyond kindergarten or the age of four, it’s time to intervene.

  • Have your child use a pacifier instead. Sucking on pacifiers is easier to discourage and are also easier to take away.
  • Create a chart and reward system to help keep track of your child’s progress for quitting.
  • Encourage and praise your child once you see them make an effort to stop.
  • You may also want to schedule a consultation with your child’s dentist.

Whatever you choose to do to discourage thumb sucking in your child, always remember to use positive reinforcement. It’s been proven that children are more likely to respond to positivity, praise and encouragement. Resorting to criticism and nagging may cause your child to become anxious and worsen the problem.

For more information on thumb sucking or to make an appointment for your child contact Dr. Flynee Weingarten at Hoboken Pediatric Dentistry. Call 201-795-2111 or visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistr.com.