With the popularity of Invisalign growing, many adults in Richmond, VA and other cities around the US are wondering “How old is too old for Invisalign?”
Spoiler alert: there’s really no age limit (but there are some stipulations to know about)!
When people think orthodontics, they often think about teenagers wearing headgear and unsightly metal braces. However, recent advances in orthodontics are making it possible for older adults to get orthodontic treatment and receive a straighter smile. One of those advancements is Invisalign.
Invisalign is a clear, removable straightening option. It can fix many of the same issues as braces and can even do so faster than braces if someone has a simple alignment issue.
If you’re wondering about the age limit for Invisalign and what qualifies you for Invisalign, keep reading.
In this blog, we’re sharing all about Invisalign and answering questions like:
- Can anyone get Invisalign?
- Can you be too old for Invisalign?
- How old do you have to be for Invisalign?
- Do I qualify for Invisalign?
Let’s jump on in to learn more about the Invisalign age range and if it’s a possible treatment option for you.
What Is Invisalign and How Does it Work?
Invisalign is an alternative straightening option to traditional wire braces. Instead of having brackets placed on your teeth, Invisalign uses trays that are placed in your mouth over your teeth. These trays are removable, making brushing and cleaning your teeth easier. They’re also clear which makes them less noticeable and invasive than traditional braces.
Once you begin an Invisalign treatment, you’ll revisit your orthodontist every week or two to receive new trays. Over time, the trays will push your teeth into alignment.
How Long Is an Invisalign Treatment?
A typical Invisalign treatment can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The length of your Invisalign process will depend on two main factors:
- Your specific alignment needs
- How regularly you wear your trays
There’s not much you can do about your alignment needs. More serious needs can require a longer treatment process.
However, wearing your trays for the recommended 20-22 hours per day will ensure that your process doesn’t take longer than necessary. Even if your alignment needs are simple and require only a few months to fix, it’s still necessary to wear your trays habitually. Otherwise, those few months could turn into a year or more.
Now that you know a little more about Invisalign in general, let’s dive deeper into the age limit for Invisalign and answer questions like, “At what age can you get Invisalign?”
Can Anyone Get Invisalign?
Invisalign is for all ages!
So, the answer to “How old is too old for Invisalign?” is that you’re never too old. The Invisalign age range can be anywhere from seven to eighty-seven (or older) years old.
Because Invisalign is clear and less invasive than traditional braces, it’s become a popular choice for teens and adults. Invisalign has even proven to be a viable option for early childhood orthodontic treatment. There are some alignment and jaw issues that Invisalign can’t fix, but overall, it’s a powerful tool for straightening teeth.
Whether you’re a parent with a child in need of early orthodontic treatment or an elderly adult in the Richmond, VA area, Invisalign could be an option for you.
But even though there isn’t a strict age limit for Invisalign, there are some things to take into consideration when deciding on Invisalign for older adults or younger children.
Do I Qualify for Invisalign as an Adult?
In general, there are very few disqualifying events for adults considering Invisalign. The main factors to consider are:
- Jaw issues
- Bone health
- Medications and medical conditions
Here’s a more in-depth look at these three Invisalign factors.
1. Jaw Alignment
Invisalign can effectively fix some overbite and jaw issues, especially simple cases.
However, if you have a more pronounced jaw alignment problem, you may need jaw surgery before receiving orthodontic treatment. Once you’ve recovered from surgery, your orthodontist can start you on an Invisalign treatment to fix any additional alignment issues.
2. Mouth Bone Health
A second consideration for Invisalign as an older adult is the health of the bones in your mouth.
If you have bones that are too weak or dense, it can negatively affect orthodontic treatment. Additionally, any level of bone loss in your mouth may also disqualify you from an Invisalign treatment.
Having strong, healthy bone structure in your mouth is a must for Invisalign.
3. Medications and Medical Conditions
Lastly, there are certain medications and medical conditions that may disqualify you from receiving a tooth alignment procedure.
Medications classified as bisphosphonates (for osteoporosis and some cancer treatments) can slow down the bone turnover rate, causing teeth to move slowly or not all during a tooth alignment process.
Some medical conditions can also hinder orthodontic treatment. One such condition, Paget’s disease, affects the body’s bone recycling process. One treatment for Paget’s disease is taking bisphosphonates, which as we mentioned above, can impede the alignment process.
Apart from these three events, many adults find they’re eligible for Invisalign later in life and are pleased with the results of an Invisalign treatment.
If you’re unsure whether Invisalign is a potential option for you, talk with your orthodontist. They can help you understand your current oral situation and what orthodontic treatment you can or can’t pursue.
How Old Do You Have to Be for Invisalign?
Though there isn’t an upper age limit for Invisalign, there is usually a minimum age.
Orthodontic experts agree that a child should see an orthodontist by age seven. At this age, adult teeth have started to come in (erupt). An orthodontist can take x-rays and tell whether adult teeth will come in properly or not.
If there aren’t any immediate spacing or eruption issues, the orthodontist will often wait a few more years until all the adult teeth have erupted. After all the child’s adult teeth erupt, they’ll re-evaluate the need for orthodontic treatment.
However, if the orthodontist does see some spacing or eruption issues, they may suggest early orthodontic (Phase 1) treatment.
Phase 1 treatment often lasts 9-12 months and is done to help adult teeth erupt properly. During Phase 1 treatment, an orthodontist may use Invisalign or traditional braces to move teeth.
After Phase 1 treatment and all a child’s adult teeth erupt, an orthodontist may suggest a second round of treatment to fix alignment or spacing issues in adult teeth.
The Best Invisalign for Older Adults in Richmond, VA
Can adults get Invisalign? Yes, they can!
How old is too old for Invisalign? The age range for Invisalign is very broad. There’s no upper age limit for Invisalign but age seven is often the earliest age an orthodontist will use Invisalign.
Do I qualify for Invisalign? That depends on your current oral situation and if you have any specific medical conditions that may hinder orthodontic treatment.
Are you ready to start Invisalign today and get the smile you’ve dreamed of?
At Bates Orthodontics in Richmond, VA, we can answer all your questions about Invisalign and help you decide whether it’s right for you. We’ll work with you to understand your situation, provide expert insight into your oral condition, and clearly explain your treatment options. Once you start treatment, we’ll walk with you every step of the way so you know what’s happening and what to expect.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our in-house orthodontist and let us help you move toward the smile you’ve always wanted.