When looking to perfect your child’s smile, there are many options to consider, such as Invisalign or braces. Depending on your child’s treatment needs, one option might be preferred over the other. While in other cases, the decision is left up to you. But how do you decide between Invisalign or braces for your teen?
Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help guide you through the decision-making process by weighing the pros and cons or each option.
Pros and Cons of Invisalign
We’ve compiled a list of the advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign for kids to help you narrow down if it is the right option to transform their smile.
- Discrete – In the world of teenagers, appearance often matters. While braces are working to create a beautiful smile, metal brackets can be jarring to look at. Invisalign is a discrete option that will straighten out your child’s teeth discreetly. The brackets and attaching aligners seamlessly blend into the smile, making it much more difficult for someone to notice they’re being worn. This is a great option for teenagers that might be feeling a bit self-conscious about wearing braces.
- Removable – Worried about braces or Invisalign impacting your child’s dental hygiene? Invisalign can pop right out when needed — making it much easier for your teenager to eat and thoroughly clean their teeth. They don’t have to worry about their snack getting stuck in the brackets, irritating their teeth.
- Comfort – Braces can hurt your gums, cheeks, and inner lips because of the metal brackets and wires. With Invisalign, the brackets on your child’s teeth will be covered by the aligner portion, leaving a smooth finish along their teeth. Invisalign for teens is a much more comfortable and safe option, especially for those that might play an active sport.
- Less Maintenance – Don’t want to deal with countless appointments to tighten braces? When your teenager chooses Invisalign to straighten their teeth, you will have fewer appointments to attend — winning you back some time in your busy schedule!
- No Dietary Restrictions – One of the biggest benefits for teenagers is that no foods are limited while they have Invisalign. Unlike their counterpart, you can eat foods like popcorn and candy. This is because when they are eating they can remove the aligner, enjoy the snack, clean their teeth, and pop the aligner portion back in place.
- Slurred Speech or Lisp – Wearing the clear trays over your teeth can make it difficult to talk in the beginning while your teenager gets used to the Invisalign. Their speech might be slurred and some words or sounds might have a lisp. This tends to become less noticeable over time as they become accustomed to the aligners.
- Limited Fix – Depending on your teenager’s specific teeth, Invisalign might not be an option. They can only be used to adjust certain types of teeth or bite problems.
- Cost – While there are many benefits of Invisalign over regular braces, a major drawback is that they will likely cost a bit more. The cost will often be dependent on the extent of the issue and how long the Invisalign needs to be worn.
- Responsibility – If your teenager isn’t the most responsible one in the bunch or would lose their head if it wasn’t attached, Invisalign might not be the best option. Because they can take the clear trays out, it is up to them to wear the aligners that are working to straighten their teeth. The last thing you want is for your child to accidentally throw them away at lunchtime!
Pros and Cons of Braces,
Metal braces are an effective and affordable option that many parents opt for — but are they the right choice for your child? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of braces.
- Fixed in Place – Straightening a smile can be uncomfortable as the teeth move into their desired placement. With Invisalign, the progress could come to a halt if your teenager takes out the trays because of discomfort. With braces, the metal brackets are fixed in place ensuring that their teeth are straightening.
- Durable – From talking to eating, the mouth is constantly in motion. When straightening your child’s teeth, you need an option that is durable and will be able to withstand normal wear and tear. Braces are extremely durable and strong.
- Affordable – Kids are expensive. From sports to school to rainy day activities, the costs begin to add up! Fixing your child’s smile is a must, but it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to do so. Metal braces are generally less expensive than Invisalign, but it depends on the severity of the correction.
- Customizable – Even though metal braces are visible on the front side of your teenager’s teeth, they can customize the colors of the brackets to express their style! At each appointment to tighten their braces, they will be able to select from a large array of colored rubber bands to make their braces more attractive.
- Oral Hygiene – When investing in metal braces, you need to ensure that your teenager is taking the time to adequately clean their teeth every morning and evening — and after every meal. It’s very easy for food and residue from sugary beverages to become trapped around the brackets, leading to cavities and discoloration of their teeth.
- Food Restrictions – There are certain foods your child won’t be able to eat when they have braces or a bracket can become damaged or loose and pop off, resulting in an unexpected trip to the dentist. Your teenager will need to avoid hard foods like pretzels and chips, as well as popcorn, candy, gum, ice, and more.
- Discomfort – The first few weeks your child is wearing braces they are going to feel some discomfort. The discomfort will become less and less over time, but they will likely still have some irritation on their inner cheeks and lips from the metal brackets scratching against them.
- Less Discrete – If you have a teenager that is a bit self-conscious, metal braces likely aren’t going to help. Unlike Invisalign, they are very noticeable to anyone they are interacting with.
The Final Verdict
If you’re looking for the most effective way to straighten your child’s teeth, Invisalign is the clear answer. Rather than having your child deal with traditional braces that can be uncomfortable and unsightly, the clear aligners conform to the contours of your teenager’s teeth while working to adjust the alignment of their teeth. The removable trays will ensure your child is comfortable throughout the entire process — and are able to eat all their favorite foods!
Call Taylor Dental to for an Invisalign Consultation
Still not sure if Invisalign is the right fit for your teenager? Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry can answer all your questions about Invisalign for teens and provide peace of mind in your decision. Contact our team to schedule a consultation so we can help you achieve your child’s dream smile!