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Braces or Invisalign: What to Choose?

Considering orthodontic treatment options for your child (like metal braces and invisalign aligners)? We answer what's faster: Invisalign or braces.

For dental patients seeking straighter teeth, there is that constant conflict in making a choice between the traditional metal braces and the newer approach to Orthodontics called Invisalign.

Braces have been used over the years. Millions of individuals can attest to its success rate in addressing orthodontic problems. They have also improved – smaller, less noticeable, more efficient, and more productive. Yet, the improvements of braces were not enough to satisfy patients who dread wearing them. In 2000, Invisalign came in the picture, addressing the concerns associated with regular braces.

And so, patients have begun to weigh the pros and cons of the two approaches to straightening the teeth. Between braces and Invisalign, which is a better option?

Braces

Braces are the most common recommendation of dentists to help a person’s orofacial appearance. With braces, crowded or crooked teeth, incorrect jaw position, underbites, overbites, and jaw joint disorders are corrected.

Braces are made up of brackets which run along a wire. The brackets and wires are then thoroughly pressed against the teeth to support minimal movements and correctly straighten and align the teeth.

Invisalign

The use of Invisalign is considered as a practical approach for tooth movements which are not too complicated. In this treatment, a specialist will X-ray the teeth, use impressions and pictures to form an image of the teeth accurately, and set up the aligner trays accordingly.

With Invisalign, a set of computer-generated trays is worn by the patient. These trays are then adjusted or changed every two weeks.

What’s Faster, Invisalign or Braces?

Of course, each orthodontic treatment has its set of pros and cons. Focusing on which treatment option works faster might not be the best way to see whether Invisalign aligners are a better fit for your child than metal braces are. You might need to consider what food restrictions your child could have on either treatment option. Or perhaps how often they’ll need to clean up. Which is quicker shouldn’t be the main consideration.

Braces or Invisalign?

The main advantage of Invisalign to braces is that it is “invisible.” Invisalign utilizes BPA-free clear plastic, making them much more discrete than their metal counterparts.

On the other hand, metal braces often cause self-consciousness and bullying among children because of their obvious appearance. According to Jill Emanuele, Ph.D. of the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute, a lot of people get braces but want to hide them. “I think that some kids take advantage of this by pointing out these differences and bullying those children with braces,” she says.

Yet, braces have shown improvements over time, especially in regard to their appearance. Brackets that blend with the color of the enamel are now available.

Whether you chose to subscribe to dental braces or Invisalign, it is essential to consult a an orthodontist well-experienced in braces and Invisalign to know better your options and the most effective solution in addressing your orthodontic problem.

When Should Children Get Braces?

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends an orthodontic evaluation as young as six or seven years old, while most children begin between 8 and 14 years old.

Some orthodontists suggest an interceptive method of orthodontic treatment. Interceptive orthodontics is often the first phase where malocclusions are treated right when they are detected to avoid adult malocclusion. Though this method may not prevent the need for braces, retainers, or other orthodontic treatment in later years, it can shorten the duration of the second phase since minimal corrections are to be made.

But orthodontists who prefer the conventional method are not keen on the two-step phase of treatment. Instead, they would rather correct malocclusion in only permanent teeth. According to them, the conventional method reduces the total time and expenditures of orthodontic treatment while delivering similar outcomes.

The best time and method of correction for children’s teeth will hugely rely on the severity of the child’s oral complications.

Parents may take into consideration the following questions:

  • How long will your child need to have braces? The length of treatment will differ depending on the dental issue at hand. Usually, people wear braces for 18 to 36 months.
  • Does your child need braces or simply want them for aesthetic purposes? If the dental problem is minor and can be addressed without braces, you can put off braces.
  • Can your child attend several orthodontic appointments? Braces will need proper care and additional attention to avoid bacteria build-up and plaque accumulation. They must also be checked and tightened every so often too.
  • Do you have funds to pay for your child’s braces and appointment? Braces are quite pricey and require frequent dental care.
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