Malocclusions, such as overbites and underbites, are common in childhood and are treatable. Modern-day treatments include braces or Invisalign. Braces are wire appliances that orthodontists attach to teeth to straighten them.
Invisalign is just as effective as regular braces when they fit correctly. Children’s Dental FunZone offers bothe types of treatment. Read on to discover the pros and cons of using both.
Invisalign vs Braces: Which Should I Choose?
Invisalign or braces for kids? That is a question many parents ask when deciding to straighten their children’s teeth. Factors that may affect decision-making can vary per patient. One example might be if your child is very active in sports. What kind of appliance would be best for an active lifestyle?
Your pediatric dentist will be able to help you decide which type to choose. X-rays and a dental exam may be necessary to determine the appropriate appliance.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditionally, orthodontists glued small metal brackets to the front of the teeth. Wire bands are connected to the brackets to hold the apparatus together.
The braces move your teeth over time, usually two years. Your orthodontist will have you wear rubber bands with your braces to help align your jaws. Modern metal braces are durable and differ from traditional ones. They are now smaller, smoother, lightweight, and colorful.
Metal braces are for correcting misalignments that require a more aggressive approach. In addition to straight teeth, there is bone remodeling. During this process, the bone in your jaw dissolves, and new bone grows where the tooth moves.
Benefits of Metal Braces for Kids
Kids metal braces have many advantages:
- They stay on the teeth, meaning the child cannot remove them.
- They are customizable to fit each patient.
- They are more durable than the alternative.
- They are less expensive than other types of straightening devices.
- The child can talk while wearing them.
- The rubber bands that accompany the braces come in different colors.
Potential Drawbacks to Metal Braces for Kids
Like anything else, there are downsides to metal braces. One problem is that the spaces between them can trap food and lead to cavities. Kids will not be able to eat sticky foods or candy as often.
Another downside is the pain your child might feel when the orthodontist tightens the braces. They are also more noticeable than clear appliances.
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces. They are plastic molds that the orthodontist fits into your child’s mouth. Unlike metal braces, the brackets are the color of the teeth so that they are less obvious.
The timeframe your child should wear them will depend on the extent of the misalignment. The standard length of time to wear them at one time is 20–22 hours. The longer your kid wears them, the more effective they are.
Benefits of Clear Braces for Kids
- Clear braces are less noticeable
- They are more comfortable because they apply less pressure on the teeth.
- They gently straighten the teeth while being inconspicuous.
- Even though they are clear, your child can remove them to brush and floss.
Potential Drawback to Clear Braces for Kids
Because the aligners are clear, they are easy to lose. Setting them down can cause accidental disposal. Your child needs to wear them for at least 20 hours to align correctly.
Care of Braces
With kid’s braces comes responsibility. Proper care can lengthen the life and reliability of the appliance. Before you consider getting your child braces, make sure they commit to good oral care and keep braces clean.
Oral hygiene is crucial because kids must brush their teeth and floss often. While brushing, your child should focus on each tooth individually, front and back, especially the areas around the brackets and down by the gums.
Your child should brush after each meal, even at school, if possible. Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings.
Sticky, firm, or chewy foods, such as candy or gum, are usually hard to get off teeth. Wearing braces will make that even harder. Trapped food stuck to the teeth can attract bacteria and cause tooth decay. Avoid those foods if at all possible.
Carbonated beverages are not friendly to braces either. The sugar in soft drinks can build up around the brackets and destroy tooth enamel. Drink water instead.
Invisalign is a method of straightening teeth that uses removable trays. These trays are hardly visible and, since they can be removed, the patients can clean and floss their teeth easily. And the price of braces is similar to the one of Invisalign.
Are Invisalign braces recommended for children? Yes. Invisalign kids’ aligners are unique because of their appearance. They do not look like regular braces, which may be a plus for most kids.
Benefits of Invisalign for Kids
There are several reasons that Invisalign may be favorable over traditional braces. It is more comfortable than metal braces. It can straighten teeth within six months. Your child can remove it for a game, oral care, or eating.
Adjustment is more often than braces (every one to two weeks), which puts less pressure on the teeth.
Potential Drawbacks to Invisalign for Kids
- Invisalign is more expensive than metal braces, and some insurances may not cover them. The average cost ranges from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on different factors.
- They are easy to misplace.
- Speech may be temporarily hard to understand.
Invisalign VS Braces: Which Option Is Best for My Child?
To decide on Invisalign vs. braces for your teenager, think about his life. How will wearing braces affect him?
If your child is not good at oral hygiene, you may want to consider Invisalign. If you have a tight budget and a child who loses things, metal braces may be your best bet. Discuss it with your pediatric dental specialist.
Deciding whether metal braces, clear aligners, or Invisalign is the right choice for your child may depend on his dental needs and external factors.
Metal braces affix to the teeth, whereas clear aligners can come out. With metal braces, brushing and flossing several times a day is crucial. Doing so will help to avoid tooth decay. Invisalign does not stand out like metal braces because it is translucent. Children’s Dental FunZone pediatric orthodontists can help you decide which is best for your child. Call us for a free consultation!
Evelyn Lahiji, Children’s Dental FunZone Executive Director, joined the company in 2007 with her extensive knowledge of the dental field due to years of working in every position at multiple dental offices. Under her leadership, 12 additional offices opened and quickly became successful. Evelyn works hard to ensure all operations are running smoothly both in the offices and at home raising 2 energetic young boys.