Oh, the highs and lows of adolescence! Along with the excitement that goes with the first taste of independence comes a not-so-exciting rite of passage: orthodontics. If your pre-teen or teen is like most kids their age, they have a less-than-perfect smile and need to have their teeth straightened. But which option is the best – Invisalign or braces? And what are the main differences between them? As an orthodontist in Richardson, we’ll answer that question and also explain how to help your child have a great experience during the orthodontic process.
Are Braces or Invisalign Better?
The best way to find out which option will work the best for your child is to have a consultation. This allows your orthodontist to thoroughly examine their bite and recommend the best treatment.
Although it goes without saying that most teenagers would prefer an invisible option like Invisalign, there are some cases in which traditional braces are the only option.
Regardless of what kind of orthodontic treatment your child has, scheduling a checkup and cleaning with your dentist in Richardson is a great first step! That way they’ll have a “clean slate” to work with before starting the process.
What Are the Differences Between Invisalign and Braces?
Before we describe the difference between braces and Invisalign in Richardson, we’ll review the similarities. The first step in either treatment will be taking molds and images of the teeth. This information will help your orthodontist make a treatment plan.
Both methods work by applying pressure on the teeth to move them into the correct positions. Some mild discomfort is to be expected, especially at first, but over-the-counter pain medications can help quite a bit.
Now to the differences…
- Brackets and wires are cemented on the teeth for the duration of treatment. There are some choices to how these will look – you can discuss this further with your orthodontist.
- Hygiene can be really challenging! If your teen doesn’t do well with brushing and flossing to begin with, braces can put them at a high risk for cavities. An electric brush and waterpik are especially helpful and a fluoride mouthwash can help prevent decay.
- Braces require dietary changes and certain hard or crunchy foods have to be avoided. Eating soft foods like pasta, smoothies, soups or yogurt can help reduce some of the discomfort from braces.
- Since the trays can be taken out, compliance can be an issue. If they aren’t left in for a minimum of 22 hours each day the treatment will take much longer than anticipated.
- On the other hand, being able to take the trays out to brush and floss means that it’s much easier to keep the teeth and gums healthy and prevent cavities.
- Of course, if your child is particularly concerned with appearance, this is the better option because it’s invisible.
With a bit of information beforehand, you and your teen will be able to ask the right questions and get the most from orthodontic treatment!
About the Author
All of the doctors at Breckinridge Dental and Orthodontics are passionate about helping their patients achieve the beautiful and healthy smiles they’ve always wanted. Specializing in both orthodontics and general dentistry, they offer the best of both worlds under one roof. If you have any questions they can be reached via their website or at (972) 248-9119.