If your child needs orthodontic treatment, you might be wondering, “are braces better than Invisalign®”? While Invisalign is a popular choice for discreet orthodontic treatment for teenagers, it is not always the best option for everyone. Some teens with mild to moderate cases are great candidates for clear aligners, but others require traditional braces to get their perfect smile. Our orthodontist explains the differences between braces and Invisalign below.
Invisalign or Braces?
Both treatment options are highly effective, but the best choice depends on your child’s unique case and needs. Invisalign Teen works best for mild to moderate cases and uses a series of customized plastic aligners that are nearly invisible, providing your teen with a more confident smile to take them through their teenage years.
With Invisalign, your teen is able to remove their aligners to brush, floss, and eat. They will follow a schedule of aligner changes that put increased pressure on the teeth over time. Invisalign Teen can treat a broad range of dental and orthodontic conditions, including:
- Overly crowded teeth
- Widely spaced teeth
Invisalign Teen also comes with a blue-dot indicator on each aligner. When your teen wears their aligner for 20-22 hours a day (as recommended), the blue dot will fade to clear to let you know when it’s time for the next set of aligners.
Braces are an orthodontic treatment used to correct an abnormal bite or straighten misaligned teeth. Without correction, crooked teeth or an abnormal bite can lead to various dental health issues including:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
- Gum disease
- Jaw and bite problems
- Wearing of tooth enamel
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces, as they are the tried-and-true method for straightening teeth, regardless of case severity. Metal braces are made of high-grade stainless steel and use brackets, small rubber bands, and archwires to straighten your child’s teeth during the course of their treatment process. They have progressed a long way in the past decade and are more comfortable than ever before.
Effective Every Time
Clear aligners might not be strong or effective enough for your child if they have misaligned teeth, an abnormal bite, or need other appliances, such as spacers or palatal expanders. While metal braces aren’t as discreet, they may be the best choice to effectively and predictably straighten their teeth. However, our orthodontist will determine which option is best for your child during their consultation.