Finding good teen braces can be a challenge. You’ll want to find something your teen is comfortable with while still working well for their needs. At M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics, we offer both braces and Invisalign for teens from our Santa Rosa Beach, Inlet Beach, and Destin, FL, offices. Today we’re going to address some common questions to help you decide whether Invisalign or braces may be a good choice for you.
Should You Get Your Teen Braces or Invisalign?
As you look into either teen braces or Invisalign for teens, one thing you may want to consider is the timeline. Most parents want a treatment that’s as quick and easy as possible for their kids. To understand how long these treatments take, we’re going to quickly go over how Invisalign works. Invisalign involves a series of clear aligners. Each series is worn for about two weeks.
This process generally takes 12 months, depending on how involved the patient’s dental needs are. To compare, braces are usually worn for at least 18 months. Both treatments can be very effective, and the timeline can vary per case. With that in mind, Invisalign does tend to be a quicker process.
Braces are both versatile and trustworthy. They can handle a wide range of corrections, from mild to more involved. While this is also true for Invisalign, there are some issues that braces may have an easier time correcting. A dental evaluation will give us the information we need to let you know whether braces or Invisalign is the right call for your teen’s dental needs.
If your teen needs involved corrections but wants to spend as little time with their braces as possible, you may be able to use a combined treatment approach. Some patients benefit from starting off with braces to begin the correction process, but may be able to have their braces removed early so they can switch over to Invisalign.
If this is something that interests you, feel free to ask us about it during a consultation. We’ll consider your teen’s dental condition and can offer advice on whether we believe it’s best to stick to a single treatment approach, or if combining the treatments could be a good compromise.
Invisalign and Consistency
Invisalign for teens can be a great option if your teen doesn’t like the look of braces, and wants the freedom to remove their aligners. However, it’s important to consider whether or not your teen is ready for the responsibility of consistently wearing their aligners and not misplacing them. To be effective, Invisalign should be worn for 20 to 22 hours. They can be removed during meals or to be cleaned, but otherwise should be worn most of the time.
If you believe your teen is able to remember where their aligners are, how to keep them safe, and that they should be worn most of the time, this could be a great treatment for them. For younger teens, or teens who may be more likely to misplace their aligners or forget to wear them, it may be a good idea to consider braces instead.
Braces and Confidence
Younger teens may be more open to the idea of braces than older teens. Younger kids are more likely to have friends and peers with braces. Younger kids also tend to be a little less concerned about fitting in. As your teen gets older, they may be less comfortable with the idea of braces. They might be worried about seeing braces in their pictures or standing out from their friends.
With that in mind, teen braces could be a better choice for younger teens, while older teens may prefer the discreet appearance of Invisalign. It also depends on each teen’s personality and individual comfort levels.
Brushing and flossing can feel like a boring chore, especially for kids and teens. It can be challenging to encourage your kids to brush and floss as thoroughly as they should to keep plaque and tartar at bay. If your teen is consistent about staying on top of their dental hygiene, braces may not be a bad choice for them.
On the other hand, since braces can make brushing and floss a bit trickier, Invisalign may be a good call for kids that could end up neglecting to brush and floss around their braces. While keeping teeth clean is important with both braces and Invisalign, Invisalign will allow your teen to brush and floss as normal, rather than making the process more difficult.
It’s common knowledge that braces require avoiding certain foods. Depending on your teen’s diet, these changes may be hardly noticeable, or they could end up feeling somewhat disruptive for them. Teens with allergies, for instance, may feel discouraged about cutting even more food options out of their diet.
Invisalign can help in that case. Invisalign doesn’t require any diet changes since you can just take the aligners out whenever you eat.
Braces have been in use for a long time, and the technology behind them is constantly improving. While it’s important to try to protect them, they’re built to handle life. Kids that play sports can wear mouthguards over their braces to help keep their braces fracture-free while keeping their teeth safe at the same time.
That said, if your teen spontaneously starts playing soccer or basketball with their friends, they may not always remember to bring along their mouthguard. Invisalign doesn’t have any wires or brackets. That can make it a great option for kids with active lifestyles, although we still recommend guarding your teeth as much as possible during sports.
FAQ About Braces and Invisalign for Teens
1. How Many Appointments Are Needed During Treatment?
Patients with braces usually come in every 6-10 weeks so we can make any necessary adjustments, and make sure that the treatment is progressing on schedule. With Invisalign, most patients come in every 10-12 weeks, meaning that patients with braces usually come in a bit more often than patients with Invisalign.
Invisalign appointments also tend to be simpler and shorter. The combination of easier and less frequent appointments can make scheduling feel like less of a hassle.
2. Can Invisalign Be Removed Easily?
The clear aligners should remain firmly in place until your teen needs to take them out for meals. Once you get the knack for it, removing and placing aligners is simple and easy. Many patients find that loosening the aligners from the back can help it pop out easily.
3. What Braces Do You Offer?
As you’re choosing between Invisalign and braces, it’s important to know that we offer a range of different braces to fit each patient’s needs as well as possible. Something we’re pleased to offer here is self-ligating technology.
When paired with our quality braces, self-ligating technology eliminates the need for elastics. Since elastics can be tricky to work around, this could make braces more comfortable for your teen. Self-ligating technology tends to require fewer adjustments and can help shorten the treatment time as well.
Traditional doesn’t have to mean outdated. While these braces are classic, they work quite well. These also tend to be our most affordable braces. The strong material of traditional braces is able to handle a wide range of dental concerns, from misalignment and overcrowding to gaps and overbites.
If you like some of the benefits both Invisalign and braces have to offer, ceramic braces could be the best of both worlds. They have the powerful corrective power of braces, paired with brackets that blend into the patient’s smile. It’s a popular option for older teens and adults who want their braces to be less noticeable.
Many patients haven’t heard of lingual braces. That may be because in order to place lingual braces, the orthodontist has to be specially trained. We are pleased to offer lingual braces, which provide serious corrective power while remaining completely hidden.
These braces are fixed to the inside of the teeth. When you smile, no one will see any trace of the braces hard at work behind the scenes. This could be a good fit for teens, depending on the type of corrections they need.
Do You Have More Questions?
We would be happy to give you more specific answers when you meet us in person. An assessment will help us give you more individualized advice on either teen braces or Invisalign for teens. If we believe a certain approach has the best chance of fitting your needs, we’ll recommend that to you. Contact us today at M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics of Santa Rosa Beach, Inlet Beach, and Destin, FL, to set up your consultation.