It’s that time. Your child has reached the age when they are ready to begin the journey into orthodontics. It can feel both scary and exciting. With all the options out there, how do you know, braces or invisalign? Which is best for kids? There are pros and cons to each option, depending on your child’s needs.
Invisalign, the Invisible Alternative to Braces
Invisalign was first introduced in the 90s, but it is still the more recent innovation to orthodontics than braces. Invisalign aligners are made of smooth, clear plastic, which means they are invisible and often more comfortable than traditional braces. They are also removable, which can make it easier to clean your teeth, and there are no restrictions on the types of food you can eat while undergoing invisalign treatment. Invisalign isn’t for everyone, and there can be some things worth considering when deciding between braces or invisalign.
Children cannot start with invisalign treatment until all of their adult teeth have come in, at around 12 to 13 years of age (the age can vary more, depending on the child).
Also, the maturity of each child matters as well, since Invisalign is more dependent than traditional braces on the compliance of the wearer since they are removable, which means they can be lost, or may not be worn for the full recommended time of 22 hours every day. Braces are an option that don’t depend on the compliance of the wearer, and so may be easier for kids who aren’t ready for the responsibility of compliance with invisalign.
Weighing Individual Needs and Results
It is important to note that compared to traditional braces that can provide a more comprehensive improvement of teeth and bite in more complex cases, invisalign has been shown to achieve improvement in more simple and straightforward cases. So the decision between the two can depend on what your child needs. When asking the question, “Braces or invisalign?” it’s a good idea to consider every option. Whether your child needs a more involved and complicated treatment best suited to braces, or a more straightforward case more suited to invisalign. One option may serve your child’s needs better than the other.
Traditional braces have seen a lot of technology advances in recent years and are no longer the clunky, bulky and uncomfortable appliances you might remember from your childhood. From slimmer profiles, to smoother materials, technology has been advancing with patient comfort in mind for several decades now. Time spent in braces can also be less due to advances in imaging and planning, allowing orthodontists to model and assess exactly what treatment is needed and how to most efficiently approach it. Some kids prefer the fun look and opportunity to change up their appearance with different color bands with traditional braces, and others prefer the low profile of invisalign. Asking your child for their preference may help tip the scales towards one or another option.
Ask Your Dentist or Orthodontist for Help
Talking to your dentist or orthodontist is a great place to start to figure out the answers to your questions about braces or invisalign, and when is the best time to start your child. Getting braces is a big deal, and we’re here to help you navigate the first steps of your child’s journey.
Call our San Antonio Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.