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Invisalign® for Kids? We’re Shaking Up Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment

By July 28, 2021December 15th, 2023No Comments

Top Invisalign® Provider for Kids:

We love Invisalign® here at Innovative Orthodontic Centers. For one, there’s so much precision involved with the treatment and we’re able to control the movements of each individual tooth in a patient’s mouth to design the perfect smile. Then, when it comes to the aligners themselves, you have the unbeatable comfort, aesthetics (they’re virtually invisible!) and convenience. 

Since the aligners are removable, patients can maintain their oral hygiene and eat their favorite foods throughout treatment, causing minimal disruption to their daily lives as they straighten their teeth. 

Innovative Orthodontic Centers is a Top 1% Diamond+ Invisalign Provider (read about what this highest Invisalign designation means here). Dr. Manal Ibrahim has even been called a “trailblazer” by Align Technology, the company that makes Invisalign, because she’s always thinking outside of the box and pushing clinical boundaries. In fact, the company has invited Dr. Ibrahim to participate in a number of Invisalign clinical trials, advisory boards and pilot programs and has asked for her advice on how to perfect the product. 

Given that, it’s probably no surprise that Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Christine Gin were early adopters of the company’s newest innovation, Invisalign® First, aligners for young patients in Phase 1 orthodontic treatment who still have primary teeth. Innovative Orthodontic Centers was even one of the first practices in North America to offer the option of Invisalign for kids! 


The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. At this stage, they still have baby teeth but we can get a good idea of how things are developing. For most young patients, we just observe them and let parents know when it’s the ideal time to start treatment.

However, in other cases, if Dr. Ibrahim or Dr. Gin spot any red flags, they can intervene early while the patient is still growing to guide the growth of their jaws and help the permanent teeth come in properly. This ensures treatment is easier and faster down the road, prevents more serious orthodontic problems and helps to avoid the need for extractions or jaw surgery. We refer to this early intervention as interceptive treatment or Phase 1 orthodontic treatment.

In Phase 1, the patient wears Invisalign, braces or an appliance to achieve certain goals, like making room for permanent teeth, guiding the jaws in the proper direction, improving the way the lips meet or preventing a bad bite in an otherwise normal mouth, among other objectives. We always aim to complete this first phase in 12 months or less. When we’re finished, the patient usually wears retainers for six to 12 months to hold the adult teeth where we positioned them.

Then, they get a little break to allow the rest of their baby teeth to fall out naturally and enter our Growth and Development Program, where we monitor them until their permanent teeth are in. When the grown-up teeth have erupted, it’s time to start Phase 2 treatment, which is the standard course of braces or Invisalign most people go through as a teenager.   


For years, parents have asked, “Can kids get Invisalign?” Traditionally, Phase 1 orthodontic treatment consisted of certain appliances or braces for children, and Invisalign for kids under 13 wasn’t an option. While we’ve been using Invisalign for kids as young as 7 at Innovative Orthodontic Centers for some time, Align Technology officially launched Invisalign First to the public. These aligners are designed specifically for young patients with mixed dentition (having both primary and permanent teeth) and shorter, smaller teeth. 

The aligners are able to manage erupting teeth and have SmartForce® and SmartStage® technology, which make tooth movements more predictable and enable us to support arch development. It can help us reach our Phase 1 treatment goals safely and effectively. 


While the design of the Invisalign First aligners is different from that of Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, the Invisalign treatment process is the same. A team member will take a quick, comfortable digital scan of your child’s teeth and gums to create a virtual, 3D model of their mouth. 

Dr. Ibrahim or Dr. Gin will plan out your child’s treatment directly on this computerized model. The Invisalign lab will then print out custom Invisalign First aligners for your child based on the orthodontist’s specifications. 

Your child will wear and change their aligners according to their treatment plan, typically wearing them for 20 to 22 hours per day and switching to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks. Each set of aligners exerts steady gentle pressure and is designed to achieve certain tooth movements. As your child makes their way through the series, their smile will take shape little by little. 

invisalign for kids in Naperville ClinicWHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INVISALIGN FOR KIDS?

While Invisalign is often thought of as appropriate for teenagers and adults, kids can get Invisalign and we’ve achieved fantastic results with it. There are a number of benefits of this treatment option:

  • A lot of young patients are reluctant brushers and flossers and introducing brackets and wires to the mix adds another layer to the struggle to get them to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. With the removable aligners, they can take them out to brush. 
  • Invisalign aligners are comfortable. Patients won’t experience the irritation that can sometimes occur with braces or other appliances. This helps kids acclimate to their appliance much more quickly and encourages compliance.
  • Many patients love the fact that Invisalign First aligners are smooth, clear and not noticeable. No one can tell they’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. 
  • There are no food restrictions, so things like popcorn and corn on the cob are still on the menu.


Now that you know Invisalign First is an excellent choice for phase 1 orthodontic treatment, you might be asking, “How much does Invisalign cost for kids?” The Invisalign cost for kids depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of your child’s case. 

At Innovative Orthodontic Centers, we aim to make Invisalign affordable for families. We file with all PPO insurances. If you have insurance that covers orthodontic treatment, it will provide coverage for clear aligners. This can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket Invisalign cost. 

Additionally, we accept CareCredit and LendingPoint, as well as offer in-office, interest-free financing plans with low monthly payments that fit your budget. If you’d rather pay in full, we’ll give you a paid-in-full discount. 

To get a general idea of the cost of Invisalign and estimate what your payments could be, try out our payment calculator!  

Putting Little Ones on the Path to a Healthy Smile

Invisalign First is a proven way to address the issues we treat with early interceptive orthodontics. As a practice dedicated to giving our patients the best possible outcome as comfortably and quickly as possible, we’re thrilled that Align Technology is helping us do that with our youngest patients. Interceptive treatment sets the stage for lifelong oral health and beautiful, functional smiles in the future. Beyond that, it improves the appearance of a patient’s smile to boost their self-esteem and confidence. 


Dr. Manal Ibrahim