Smiling teen deciding between Invisalign or braces.

If your teen has teeth alignment problems, it’s time to visit your orthodontist and make the all-important decision of deciding between Invisalign or braces.

With so many options available now, it may be difficult for your teen to choose. It’s good to weigh the pros and cons of each choice to get the best treatment for your teen.

Take the time to fully discuss orthodontic treatment options with your teen so they know what to expect.

Go Invisible With Invisalign

One of the main reasons teens, and adults, hate braces is because they’re visible. No one really wants to smile with a mouthful of metal. However, Invisalign changes all this. Instead of wires and brackets, your teen uses clear aligners to gradually straighten their teeth.

Instead of your orthodontist having to make manual adjustments during each visit, you get a new aligner. This offers your teen the chance to get a straighter smile without anyone really noticing. The only time anyone will notice is when they take their aligner out to eat and drink.

Each aligner lasts up to two weeks. Your orthodontist still needs to monitor the progress as they would with traditional braces.

When it comes to Invisalign or braces, Invisalign has a clear advantage in there are no dietary changes. Since the aligners are removable, teens can eat and drink like normal. This makes adjusting to them much easier.

Braces Have Evolved

On the other hand, there are now several types of braces to choose from. Traditional, ceramic, Suresmile and invisible braces all have wires, but they all have different benefits.

Traditional braces are what your teen is probably most familiar with. These are the most common option for more severe alignment issues. They’re still commonplace because they’re highly effective and allow your orthodontist to make manual adjustments throughout the treatment period.

Ceramic braces look much like traditional braces, but the brackets and wires can be the same, or close to the same, colour of your teeth. While they’re still noticeable up close, they’re not as visible from a distance.

Suresmile braces look like traditional braces, but they use the advanced Suresmile technology to offer a better fit. This may also lead to faster treatment times, but this isn’t a guarantee.

Invisible braces, also known as lingual braces, aren’t exactly invisible, but they fit behind your teen’s teeth, making them nearly invisible.

One final option is damon braces. These are self-ligating, meaning fewer manual adjustments. Otherwise, they look the same as traditional braces.

As a final thought, traditional braces are the most cost-effective teeth straightening option and they’re ideal for all cases.

Invisalign Cons

At this point, your teen may be eager to try Invisalign, but there are a few cons to consider first. Some of the biggest problems include:

  • Losing aligners
  • Forgetting to put aligners back in (can extend treatment plan)
  • Not suitable for all cases
  • Can discolour if not cleaned properly
  • Requires cleaning the teeth after every meal and snack
  • Can fall out until you get used to them
  • Costs more

Being clear is both a pro and con. Imagine your teen sitting at lunch at school. They sit their aligner on their tray and start talking with friends. Without a second thought, they pick up their tray and toss it in the trash. It’s not until several hours later they realise what they’ve done.

Losing and damaging aligners is all too common, especially when your teen first gets Invisalign. This can result in extra costs and a longer treatment period.

One other common issue is simply forgetting to put them back in. For instance, maybe your teen takes their aligner out to brush their teeth. Instead of putting it back in, they jump in bed and fall asleep. Since these need to be worn over 20 hours a day, a night without them could ruin the progress already made.

The Downside Of Braces

The most obvious downside of braces is they’re far more visible, especially non-lingual braces. Other than that, there is more discomfort. Some of the common downsides include:

  • Dietary changes
  • More difficult oral care routine
  • Each adjustment can cause temporary pain
  • Brackets may break or come off
  • Can cause cuts in the mouth until you adjust to wearing them
  • Temporary pain as your mouth adjusts to braces

The dietary and oral care routine changes are the worst parts as they last throughout the duration of the treatment. Since this can last two years or more, your teen might grow to resent their braces, even if their teeth are looking better. Giving up favorite foods and spending extra time cleaning their teeth can be frustrating, especially at first.

As far as any pain is concerned, it is usually temporary. After all, your mouth is adjusting to the sudden pressure that braces place on them. With each adjustment, the process starts over. However, it’s important to remind your teen that this is just temporary.

Invisalign Or Braces?

Now for the final choice – Invisalign or braces? Ultimately, it’s a choice you, your teen and your orthodontist must make together. If you have any concerns or questions, you should talk to your orthodontist. Of course, you should schedule a consultation first to see whether your teen is a candidate for Invisalign or not. Most minor to moderate cases work well with Invisalign.

When helping your teen choose, discuss the changes they’ll have to make and how each choice will affect their daily life. You’ll also need to consider the costs and length of each treatment option.

Overall, Invisalign is the better option when it comes to comfort and ease of use. It’s a small adjustment period that takes around the same time or less than traditional braces.

Braces work well to help save money and handle a wide variety of cases. They’ve proven to be effective time and time again. Yet, your teen may just hate the look of them.

It’s a difficult choice, but one that’s easy to make when you know all the details upfront. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your teen’s options today.