If your child needs braces, you have a decision to make. You have to choose between Invisalign braces and metal braces. Braces are a proven treatment for correcting a wide range of misalignments. Braces can be metal or they can be clear aligner trays. Learning more about your options before you travel to the orthodontist’s office is a great way to make an informed decision.

When Should Your Child Start Treatment for Braces?

According to orthodontists, the best time to take your child for an initial visit to the orthodontist is as young as seven. While most children are not fitted for braces at the age of seven, it is important that their progress is tracked by an orthodontist and a plan is put in place for when brace treatment will start. By the age of seven, many of the secondary teeth have erupted, and your dentist and your orthodontist will have a good idea of what corrections need to be made. The orthodontist will discuss with you treatment options, costs, and the overall plan. In most cases, brace treatment will not begin for a few years.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a brace treatment option that is often referred to as “invisible braces”. Invisalign is a series of clear aligner trays that your teen will be fitted for. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign trays are removable for certain activities like eating, drinking, and oral hygiene activities.

Invisalign is a treatment option that can be effective for a wide range of necessary corrections. Many teens prefer Invisalign to traditional braces because they have more control over what they can eat and how they feel about wearing braces. A recent study found that 47% of teenagers that used Invisalign report they felt Invisalign delivered a boost to their self-esteem while only 22% of teenagers with traditional braces feel that braces boost their self-esteem.

One of the most popular features of Invisalign is its aesthetic. Invisalign helps teens to feel more confident while their smile is being corrected. The clear trays are almost completely invisible. There are a lot of benefits to Invisalign. Teens can easily travel with their Invisalign trays because they come with a handy case. They can be removed during lunchtime and other meals when away from home during travel to school or sporting events. The trays are also removed for oral hygiene activities like brushing and flossing.

Given that about 26% of people over the age of 18 suffer from untreated tooth decay, it is important when you are considering brace treatment options you consider the impact of wearing traditional braces on oral hygiene. Invisalign can make it a lot easier to care for your teeth. However, there are some limitations to Invisalign braces that you should understand before you travel to the orthodontist’s office. For example, they may not be the best option for treating certain conditions. There is also the age of the patient to consider.

Traditional Metal Braces

When you are getting ready to travel to the orthodontist with your teen for braces and you have decided that you will choose traditional metal braces. There are some things you need to point out to your child to ensure the treatment will be successful. For example, with metal braces, what they can eat can be an issue. They must avoid sticky foods of all types. Traditional metal braces also take a while to get used to.

Travel plans may have to be put off for a week or two until your teen gets used to wearing braces. Adjusting to metal braces can be a challenge. Speaking to your teen about what to expect can help to ease some of the stress of getting used to braces. Metal braces are semi-permanent, they will need to learn new ways to care for their teeth. Flossing can be difficult and brushing habits will need to change.

When deciding between Invisalign or metal braces for your kids, there is really no right or wrong choice. You must make a choice that is right for your kids. Talking with them and working closely with your orthodontist is the best way to make the right choice.