Millions of Americans wear braces, and most of those patients are teens. Orthodontic treatment is a great way to improve your teen’s smile aesthetics, their oral health, and their confidence. Better still, those benefits last a lifetime, giving your child a head start on a healthier, happier life.
The benefits of orthodontics definitely support the decision to have treatment. But once that decision is made, you’re still left figuring out whether to choose braces or Invisalign® aligners. While many teens prefer Invisalign, the truth is, it’s not always the best choice.
A leading orthodontist in Cedar Park, Texas, Brendan Smith, DDS, MS, offers both Invisalign aligners and braces options for teens at Freedom Orthodontics. Here, learn how to decide which option is better for your teen.
Why Invisalign is popular
One of the biggest reasons Invisalign is popular with teens (and adults too) is its clear design. Invisalign aligners use a special type of clear plastic designed to mold comfortably around each contour of your teeth. The aligners are virtually invisible, eliminating worries about the appearance of traditional metal braces.
Invisalign aligners also tend to be more comfortable than traditional braces. That’s because each aligner is smooth, and there are no wires or brackets to irritate your teen’s cheeks or lips.
Because your teen removes their aligners for meals, there are no dietary restrictions to worry about. And finally, Invisalign treatment can often be completed in less time than treatment with traditional braces.
Invisalign and your teen
Just because Invisalign is popular with a lot of teens doesn’t mean the aligners are always the best choice for their needs. Although today’s Invisalign aligners can treat most orthodontic issues, some concerns respond better to traditional treatment, like very large gaps, crossbites in the posterior teeth, underbites, twisted or rotated teeth, or teeth that have emerged higher up in their gum.
What’s more, for Invisalign to work properly, your teen needs to be vigilant about wearing their aligners. Each set of aligners must be worn for 22 hours per day to ensure their treatment stays on track. If your teen is likely to skip wearing their aligners or they’re prone to forget them, their treatment can take a lot longer — and traditional braces might be a better choice.
Finally, while metal braces do require some extra care when brushing and flossing, Invisalign aligners also need special care. Your teen will need to remove them for all meals and snacks, storing the aligners in their special case to avoid damage. They also need to remember to follow their treatment schedule, swapping out old aligners for the next in the series.
Making the decision
Overall, the decision between Invisalign and traditional braces depends on your teen’s needs and preferences. The first step in making that decision is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith so he can evaluate your child’s teeth, jaws, and bite pattern.
Orthodontic treatment offers plenty of benefits for your child’s confidence, health, and well-being — not just during their teen years but for the rest of their life. To learn more about orthodontic treatment options, call Freedom Orthodontics or book an appointment online today.