How Old Does My Child Have to Be To Start Invisalign?

A young girl with black curly hair, pink sunglasses and a bright yellow sweater putting her Invisalign First clear aligners into her mouth

Invisalign® For Kids

In today’s world, Invisalign is advertised as the equivalent to braces to straighten teeth. After all, most kids prefer not to have metal brackets on their teeth. However, many do not realize that Invisalign clear aligners alone are not always as good as traditional braces to straighten a child’s teeth.

Invisalign has been safe for adults and teens since it was invented, but Invisalign treatment has only recently been considered a good orthodontic option for children. Align Technology, Inc. developed the Invisalign First® treatment to enable plastic trays to align a combination of baby teeth and incoming permanent teeth as children develop.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children should be evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7.

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Invisalign First Treatment

Dr. Michael Payne offers a broad range of treatment options, and no one option is ideal for everyone. The specific tooth movement your child needs will require a custom treatment plan using the orthodontic system that best fits your child's existing teeth and the movement needed for a lifetime of confident, healthy smiles. This is why American River Orthodontics offers a free, initial appointment so you can know exactly what is needed (including the cost) to straighten your child's teeth.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

We can provide Invisalign for kids, but we find that children require traditional braces used in conjunction with clear aligners to fix teeth straightening issues. Dr. Payne is very experienced with Invisalign but in more complex cases, will use 3-M™ Clarity Aligners™ as an alternative to Invisalign because it enables us to combine aligners and braces seamlessly from the beginning to accommodate the teeth of growing children.

Metal Braces & Clear Braces

Traditional metal braces can be superior treatment option for some orthodontic issues rather than Invisalign aligners. One example would be when children have narrow dental arches. However, we at American River Orthodontics even have alternatives for metal braces.

LigthForce™ braces are a fully customized orthodontic option. Every bracket is 3-D printed for the contour of your teeth to minimize broken brackets and emergency appointments. This system is the best solution for kids that can't use aligners but want their treatment to be virtually invisible. Rather than metal braces, they are a translucent, clear material that blends with the color of the teeth.

Invisalign Cost

Most orthodontists charge about the same for Invisalign treatment or clear aligner treatment as treatment with braces. The cost of orthodontic treatment more depends on how difficult it is to align the teeth and fix the bite. For kids, it is extremely important to fix all the teeth straightening issues and bite so we can set them up for a lifetime of health, function and, of course, stunning smiles.

Dr. Payne offers a complimentary consultation to all new patients so you can get the best recommendation for treatment and find out exactly how much treatment will cost. We never want cost to interfere with a child's health. So we offer a variety of payment options so you can feel good about the treatment process.

Easy Hygiene with Clear Aligners vs Traditional Braces

Keeping teeth clean while straightening teeth has never been easier. Have you ever tried to clean the food out of brackets and wires? It's a whole process. But with clear aligners, there are no dietary restrictions and you just remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would.

If you find yourself out to lunch, and can't find a moment to floss, just swish with water to get all the food bits out before you put your aligners back in your mouth. This will help keep your oral hygiene looking good.

Aligners need to be worn for 22 hours a day, everyday until you are scheduled to switch to the next aligner. To keep the current aligners clean, you can brush them with your toothbrush and toothpaste. If your aligners need more of a deep clean within your two weeks of wear, just ask us about aligner cleaning crystals that can be ordered through Invisalign's website under shop accessories.


Parents, please make sure that your child is seeing a certified orthodontist for your clear aligner treatment as they have significantly more training than a general dentist to move teeth to their ideal position. Afterall, they will have that final bite and alignment for the rest of their lives.

Invisalign First clear aligners are made for children who are still losing teeth and who's permanent teeth are coming in. Invisalign Teen treatment is great for teens who already have most or all of their adult teeth. And Invisalign treatment is excellent for most adults. Invisalign works on just about anyone these days, but there definitely are some tooth movements that would be more ideal with braces than aligners alone.

Dr Michael Payne at American River orthodontics offers a complimentary consultation for all new patients so we can show you your best treatment options, how long treatment will take and make sure it's affordable to start. We will maximize any insurance coverage you may have so your child can get the confident, healthy smile they deserve.

Give us a call at 916.486.4233 to ensure the health of your child’s bright, beautiful smile today!


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3406 American River Dr

Sacramento, CA 95864


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