Comparing braces & Invisalign

Not much gives a better first impression of confidence, happiness and health than a great smile. If you and your teen are thinking about straightening her teeth, you have more options today than ever. Figure out the best way to get your teen a picture-perfect smile by understanding the difference between braces and Invisalign.

Teen girl unhappy with braces

Braces basics

Once considered a teen rite of passage, braces and retainers have been the most readily available and accepted treatment for many years. They work and still are widely recommended and used today. They are not without difficulties, however. Here are a few:

No one likes how they look. Kids can be merciless with the teasing, and no one wants to be called metal mouth or brace face for a couple years. Kids often hold their hands over their mouths when they first get braces because they’re so self-conscious about how they look. Don’t expect to see them smiling a lot while they’re wearing braces.

Braces can be uncomfortable, even painful. Mouth sores and injuries caused by the brace wires are not uncommon. If your teen is active in sports, this can be a cause for concern.

Maintaining good oral hygiene can be difficult. Tooth discoloration and plaque buildup may result. Perhaps worst of all, your teen may not be able to enjoy some of his favorite food items.

Invisalign info

Invisalign Teen straightens teeth with a series of clear, custom-made aligners, each worn for a few weeks before moving to the next aligner. They are virtually invisible and work by gradually moving the teeth — without unsightly and embarrassing wires that can make your teen self-conscious and withdrawn. He can slip the aligners out when eating favorite foods, such as popcorn or apples, that are so difficult to enjoy with braces.

Your teen can brush and floss normally with the aligner removed. It also has a built in compliance indicator so you can monitor how much the device is being worn. Invisalign Teen provides for up to six free replacement aligners at no charge, so you don’t have to worry about your teen losing the aligners.

Advances in technology make new feats possible every day (you’re reading this on the Internet, after all). Your teen will smile at this cutting-edge choice.

More oral health tips

5 Things your dentist isn’t telling you
Braces & your teenager: What are your options?
Dietary habits important for dental health

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