As a parent, it is only natural for you to consider your child’s precious smile as the greatest reward for your hard work and sacrifices. Because of this, it is important that you think long and hard about how to handle your child’s dental care, especially if he is already showing signs that it may be time to have his teeth alignment corrected.
Teeth alignment treatment is an important process for maintaining your child’s dental health as they grow older. This will not only keep his mouth and teeth healthy, but will also keep him looking the best he can be.
When choosing the right orthodontic device for your child, you will be faced with a difficult decision of whether to opt for traditional metal braces or to choose a new innovative orthodontic device called Invisalign.
To make the right choice, you have to study your options and consider some important factors so that you can help keep your little one smiling happily.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a clear orthodontic device that serves a similar purpose as braces. That is to adjust teeth alignment and correct certain conditions that make the patient’s smile appear crooked in some way.
Aligners are made from BPA-free plastic and are crafted with precision without the use of goopy putty molds, thanks to 3D imaging. Worn over the teeth to provide a subtle adjustment without much discomfort, these devices can be removed when necessary.
Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign: 6 Factors to Consider
Braces and Invisalign aligners are made to correct dental conditions that require realignment of those pearly whites. Traditional braces have a proven track record for being an effective option for almost any case. However, modern orthodontics saw the need for an alternative that is simpler and more convenient while still being able to treat various orthodontic cases—from general teeth alignment to overbite, underbite, crossbite, gap teeth, open bite and crowded teeth correction.
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When choosing between Invisalign and traditional braces for your child, it is important that you understand the difference between the two based on six essential factors. This way, you can make an informed decision that will help keep him grinning through adulthood.
Inconvenience has become a common complaint among teens and adults who wear conventional orthodontic devices.
Braces need to be checked at least once a month while Invisalign may require you to have the aligner tray changed only every two weeks, with a general dental check-up required between four and six weeks. However, bi-weekly trips to the dentist may be significantly faster and simpler with Invisalign.
Maintenance-wise, cleaning metal braces may require extra tools such as a water flosser, while the plastic teeth aligner only needs to be brushed and rinsed as constantly as you brush your teeth using lukewarm water.
In terms of consuming food, aligners need to be removed when eating to ensure that they don’t break. Since people wearing traditional braces have to avoid certain foods altogether to avoid damaging their orthodontic device, this plastic aligner characteristic is actually an advantage.
Most common (and most budget-friendly) braces are metallic in color. However, you can choose to have colored braces or even one that blends in with the hue of your child’s enamel to make them less eye-catching. On the other hand, Invisalign offers an almost invisible appearance that can only be noticed with a closer look.
3. Dental Hygiene
Whether through traditional braces or Invisalign, your child’s overall dental hygiene will improve once his teeth are aligned.
However, the translucent plastic aligner has the upper hand in this aspect since it speeds up the process. You only need to remove the aligner to wash it, brush and floss as usual, then pop it back on. No need for different types of brushes to get to every nook and cranny of the brackets and wires in braces.
4. Length of Treatment
The treatment of dental alignment cases using braces requires a round-the-clock use of the device for two years on average. For Invisalign, your child only needs to wear it for about 22 to 24 hours a day between six to eight months. However, it is important to note that these numbers may vary from case to case.
Cost is another major consideration when choosing between conventional and unconventional orthodontic devices. When Invisalign was new, it cost a lot more than braces. Over time, prices of this innovative teeth alignment device dropped until they were almost the same as traditional metal braces.
Still want to know which device can help you save more? The answer lies in the duration of the treatment. Since the length of treatment is based on the complexity of the case, the cost factor may also vary from person to person as some cases may see faster results with braces while others may benefit better with Invisalign.
6. Age Suitability
Since you’re planning for your child’s oral care, you should also consider the suitability of the orthodontic device based on the patient’s age. In this aspect, braces are considered advantageous since they are suitable for a wider age range (between seven and 77 years old).
Children benefit more from these traditional teeth alignment devices since these can be adjusted as they (and their mouths) grow bigger with every birthday. Clear aligners, on the other hand, are better suited for teenagers who are looking to avoid teasing caused by the way they look with metal wires and brackets in their teeth.
Pave the Way for Your Child’s Instagram-Worthy Smile
Since your child’s wellness lies in the steps you take, you must make informed decisions when it comes to his oral care. That’s done by understanding all your options and knowing which ones will suit his case best, after consulting reliable dental experts.
Aside from traditional metal braces and Invisalign, you can also choose from among different orthodontic devices such as lingual braces, Damon clear braces, ceramic braces, and Inman Aligners that may be a better fit for your child’s case.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.