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Which brace option is best for your child

Invisalign® or Traditional Braces?

 
The two most popular braces options are traditional metals braces or Invisalign®. But which one will be the most suitable for your child? Find out what you need to consider here!

When deciding the best braces solution for your child, there are several things you need to consider. The most common type of braces is the more traditional metal braces however in recent years Invisalign® has become an increasingly popular option. When deciding the best braces solution for your child, there are several things you need to consider.

Invisalign®

Invisalign adjusts the teeth via a series of clear, computer generated aligners, much like a very thin mouth guard. Generally each aligner is worn for two weeks and then the next in the series is worn.
One of the most obvious advantages of Invisalign is that they are nearly invisible, hence the name. This is ideal for teens who may be struggling with self-confidence. 

The aligners can be made in advance meaning fewer dental visits – this is especially convenient if you live far from your treatment provider or for other reasons find it difficult to make regular visits. 

The Invisalign aligners are removable. There are lifestyle and hygiene benefits associated with this. If your teen plays a wind instrument or a contact sport such as rugby or ice hockey, they are able to remove the retainers. Increased personal hygiene is another benefit – because the retainers can be removed, normal cleaning and flossing can be done. 

For fussy eaters, the removable aligners are a real benefit as there is no limitation on foods that can be eaten although to avoid staining the aligner, teeth should be cleaned after eating coloured food and before the aligner is reinserted. Finally, Invisalign generally causes less discomfort and mouth pain. 

A high degree of cooperation is essential as the appliances must be worn 22 hours a day, every day. An interruption in the systematic wear of the appliances can jeopardise the whole treatment. 

Depending on the extent of treatment, Invisalign may be more expensive than braces.

 

Traditional braces

Traditional braces continue to be the most frequent braces option for teens. Traditional metal braces are essentially brackets that are bonded to the front of the teeth with a wire running through them. 

These braces are more effective for fixing complex tooth issues such as where there is a need to rotate teeth, move teeth vertically (ie where teeth are a different height) or adjust back teeth, where there are bite issues. In this case Invisalign might not even be an option offered by your oral health specialist. 

Traditional braces are generally understood to be able to move misaligned teeth in a relatively short period and if your teen lacks discipline, the fact that they are not removable can be a benefit. The temptation to not wear the Invisalign retainers for at least 22 hours a day might be too much for some teens and there is a clear link between the time worn and the effectiveness of the treatment. 

Traditional braces require some extra care – flossing and cleaning around the brackets and wire can be time consuming.