Invisalign vs Braces – What’s Better for Kids?
So your child has crooked teeth. Or maybe they have issues with their bite, or overcrowding. Their orthodontist is on the case, ready to form the treatment plan. But which is best? Invisalign vs. braces is the question on your mind. Both options have great benefits, and it all depends on your child and what will work best for their needs. Read on to explore the differences between Invisalign vs braces and the benefits each offer your child during their orthodontic treatment.
How Do They Both Work?
Invisalign treatment includes a series of clear trays that are molded to fit over your child’s teeth and are swapped out over time as treatment progresses. They are created by using 3D images of your child’s mouth. As your child wears the different trays, their teeth will be guided slowly into better positions with each tray. Each tray is typically worn one to two weeks before moving on to the next. They are easy to put on and take off. Caring for your child’s Invisalign trays is simple as well.
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are glued or bonded to every tooth in your child’s mouth. While applying braces, the orthodontist places a metal archwire through each bracket and connects the wire to the brackets with o-rings. Your child typically gets to choose fun colors for their o-rings. This is the fun part and your child is sure to enjoy choosing their colors each time they visit. Over time during treatment, the archwire is tightened or adjusted in order to move the teeth into better position. How often tightening or adjusting is needed depends on your child’s specific needs, but every two weeks to once a month is common.
What Does It Cost?
Cost is a big factor when considering orthodontic treatment options. Which option is cheaper? Invisalign or braces? The answer may surprise you. Invisalign is commonly known to be the more expensive option, but that isn’t always the case.
Because Invisalign trays are custom made using 3D technology for every person on a case by case basis, this contributes to a higher cost for this type of product.
Braces are in general the less expensive choice because orthodontists can easily manipulate and inspect them rather than having to involve another party for adjustments or care. Because of this, the cost usually remains lower for this option.
Ease of Care And Upkeep
Your child will need to care for their teeth and whatever type of orthodontic treatment is on them, so the ease of care and upkeep is a big factor to consider when choosing between Invisalign and braces. Which would be best for your child? Keep reading for info on how to care for both.
Invisalign trays are easy to pop in and out of your mouth. They require nearly no maintenance when compared to traditional braces. When it’s time to eat, your child simply removes the Invisalign tray, eats their meal with minimal discomfort compared to braces, and then when they are finished they simply have to brush their teeth and put the aligner back in. Aside from your child needing to keep track of their aligner when they remove it, there is really no fuss to this option. However, in the event that your child loses a tray, you can order a replacement but that can be a hassle. Losing trays can extend treatment time, unless your orthodontist says you can just skip forward to the next tray in the series.
One thing that is notable is that kids should never eat with their invisalign tray in their mouth. There is a high risk of cavities and it will get the trays incredibly dirty. When eating or drinking anything but water, the trays should be removed then replaced after the teeth have been brushed.
Traditional braces are made up of metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands that can easily accumulate and attract food particles and plaque on the teeth. If your child has braces, it is imperative that they brush and floss their teeth after every single meal. If they don’t their teeth can become permanently stained and they run a higher risk of having tooth decay or even gum disease.
Flossing with braces can be difficult because your child (or you) will have to maneuver the floss through the small spaces between the archwire and the teeth. Brushing should be done to ensure removal of all debris in and around the teeth and brackets.
Another thing to consider when thinking of braces and upkeep is diet restrictions. Certain foods should not be eaten while wearing braces. Some of these are:
- Sticky foods – gum, caramel, etc should not be eaten while wearing braces as they can become stuck in and around the brackets
- Hard foods – ice and nuts are in this category and shouldn’t be eaten because they run the risk of loosening or breaking the hardware
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, crunchy raw carrots, apples, even corn on the cob. These should all be avoided
Cutting food into smaller pieces and chewing a bit differently are other things that should be done to help your child wearing braces. In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when trying to decide what treatment option is best for your child, invisalign or braces. Regardless of what you choose, there is a pediatric orthodontist nearby in NJ that can help you. Many different things can affect your child’s orthodontic treatment, so knowing the facts about each option as listed above is an important step towards making a decision. Consider how each option works, the cost, ease of use and upkeep. Think about how your child might deal with each option. If you are thinking this is me after reading this article, reach out to us. Whether you choose invisalign for your kids first, or braces, our team will give your child the best personal care regardless of what option you decide is best.