If you’re debating the benefits of braces vs Invisalign, you may have several unanswered questions about the process. You may be wondering how long Invisalign takes compared to braces or whether kids respond better to one treatment or the other. At M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics, we’re going to cover some of these questions. We would also be happy to do so in person and have several convenient locations in Santa Rosa Beach, Inlet Beach, and Destin, FL.
Braces vs. Invisalign: Which Is Right for Your Child?
A Closer Look at the Timeline
“How long does Invisalign take?” This is a common question, and it’s easy to see why. In general, parents would like to help their children have the easiest treatment possible. If Invisalign works faster than braces, that could play into their braces vs Invisalign decision. To answer this question, we have to go over how Invisalign works.
The Invisalign treatment involves a series of clear aligners, each worn for about two weeks. As your child moves from one set to the other, their teeth will progressively be guided into a more correct position until their treatment series is complete. 12 months is the most common treatment length, with some patients able to finish sooner and others requiring more time. To compare, the average time a child is expected to wear braces is upwards of 18 months.
Combining the Treatments
In some cases, it’s possible to combine the use of both Invisalign and braces for treatment. This may be done if the patient requires braces but wants to shorten the amount of time they have to wear them. After starting the process, the patient could have their braces removed and finish up their treatment with Invisalign.
Feel free to ask us about this if you are interested. During a consultation, we can let you know if we believe this approach would work for your child or if it would be better to stick to one approach throughout the treatment process.
Age Can Be a Factor
One of the best things about Invisalign is that it’s removable. However, that could present a challenge for young kids who may be more prone to misplacing their aligners. Invisalign should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day for maximum efficiency. They can be taken out when your child eats or brushes their teeth, then they should be popped back in.
If you’re confident that your child is ready to remember the importance of consistently wearing their aligners, and won’t be prone to misplacing them, Invisalign could be a great call for them. On the other hand, if you’re concerned that the aligners may not be worn consistently or could be lost, braces have the benefit of always being securely in place so you won’t have to worry about that.
Age Can Also Affect How Kids Feel About Braces vs Invisalign
Younger kids are more likely to get a kick out of customizing their braces, and they may also be more likely to see their peers getting braces too. Teenagers may start to feel more self-conscious about the idea of braces, and the customization may start to lose its charm the older your child gets.
In that way, an older child may be more comfortable with the idea of Invisalign instead of braces. Invisalign won’t make them stand out since it’s almost impossible to tell when someone’s wearing these clear aligners. Invisalign also won’t show up for pictures, which can be an increasing concern for older kids who want to feel good about the pictures they take with friends.
It can be challenging to get kids to brush and floss their teeth consistently. When you add braces to the mix it’s even more crucial that they stay on top of dental hygiene. Braces can make it a bit more tricky to floss and brush, so you may have to help your kid remember how important it is to get their teeth nice and clean so their braces keep working well.
Invisalign has a benefit here, as its removability means it’s just as easy to brush and floss as it’s always been. You won’t have to worry quite so much about hovering over them twice a day or cleaning around elastics and brackets.
Braces do require some diet limitations. This fact can range from a minor inconvenience to a major life change depending on what your child’s current diet is. For a child with dietary restrictions due to allergies or texture sensitivities, cutting out even more food could be very frustrating.
Invisalign can help in those cases, as your child can take their aligners out and continue to eat the things they’re used to. This can make the treatment process less invasive in their daily lives. Some patients wonder, how long does Invisalign take to pop in and out? Once you get the hang of it, it’s an easy process. Many patients find that once you loosen it from the molar area, the rest of it can slide off easily.
The technology behind braces has made them increasingly resilient, but there is still some concern when it comes to playing sports with braces. Wearing a mouthguard and choosing the right type of braces can help greatly reduce the risk of broken brackets or loose wires, but it’s not always realistic to expect a kid to pop in a mouthguard every time they run to the playground or start a spontaneous game of soccer.
With Invisalign, there are no brackets or wires to worry about. You should still be careful with the aligners and not purposely put them to the test, but they may be a better fit for patients with active hobbies.
How Long Does Invisalign Take During Dental Appointments?
Braces tend to require more frequent appointments than Invisalign does. When your child has braces, you can expect to come in every 6-10 weeks. On the other hand, Invisalign appointments can often be stretched out to every 10-12 weeks. While the space of a few weeks may not look all that different on paper, it can make scheduling appointments more convenient, and save you time in the long run.
Since Invisalign appointments tend to be simpler, the time your child has to endure sitting in the office can generally be shortened as well.
There’s a reason braces still are in use; they work very well. Invisalign can handle a wide range of dental corrections, but braces may be required for more severe misalignments. We can let you know if your child qualifies for Invisalign when we are able to take a closer look at their dental needs.
What Braces Do We Offer?
As we go over our braces vs Invisalign information, it’s important to know that the experience of wearing braces can differ due to the different types of braces. We offer a range of braces here to fit as many different needs as possible.
These braces are highly durable. Their strong metal material is built to last and can handle both minor and more significant dental corrections. They also tend to be the most cost-efficient type of braces.
When braces are paired with self-ligating technology, your child won’t have to worry about brushing around elastics anymore. Self-ligating technology can help braces be easier for the patient, and may even shorten the treatment time.
This option is like a hybrid between many of the benefits both Invisalign and braces have to offer. Ceramic braces come in different shades, so we’d be able to pick an option that closely matches the patient’s smile. For teenagers, this could be a great option if they’d like to make their braces less noticeable.
It can be tricky to find an orthodontist who can offer lingual braces, as these braces require specialized training. Our team is pleased to offer these braces. They are the most discreet braces available due to the fact that they’re fixed to the inside of the patient’s teeth rather than the outside.
Whether these braces are a good fit for your child may depend on their age and other factors. We’d be happy to go over this option in more detail during an appointment.
We Can Offer Personalized Advice
Reading articles can be helpful and informative, but it’s not a replacement for meeting in person. During a consultation, we’ll be able to go over your questions in more detail and take a look at your child’s dental needs. This will help us give you the best advice on how to move forward. Reach out to us at M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Santa Rosa Beach, Inlet Beach, and Destin, FL, today to get that consultation set up.