With the growth of a full mouth of adult teeth, many teens and their parents receive the news that orthodontic treatment will be needed to straighten unruly teeth and prevent future pain and problems. If you’re a parent of a teen, you might have your own childhood memories of a mouth full of wires — that’s what needing orthodontics means, right? Maybe! But these days, there’s more options available! Both traditional braces and Invisalign could be appropriate orthodontic solutions. We’ve compiled a brief guide to help you think about which treatment is best for your situation; make sure to talk with your dentist about all your questions and concerns.
Maybe it’s obvious, but braces are for straightening your teeth! Traditional braces involve brackets glued to your teeth, with wires and rubber bands connecting them. These braces may be metal coloured, though today tooth-coloured or even bright coloured braces are becoming more commonly available. Because they are glued to your teeth, braces will stay on 24/7 until your dentist determines that you don’t need them anymore, at which point they’ll be removed, and you may be told to wear a retainer.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is a removable plastic tray that covers your teeth. It is made of smooth, comfortable plastic and shifts teeth gently. In order to get the best model of your teeth, the dentist will take X-rays, photos, and physical impressions of your teeth and create the tray to match. You’ll go through several sets of Invisalign trays over the course of your treatment, as you slowly shift the teeth to their desired final position.
Braces involve 24/7 treatment for approximately two years, and can run slightly cheaper than Invisalign. Careful brushing and flossing maintenance is required daily. Braces may be more suitable than Invisalign for complex tooth movement problems. The biggest daily impacts of braces are the potential discolouration of teeth, potential discomfort from the metal, and the inability to eat sticky, hard, or crunchy foods for the duration of treatment.
By contrast, Invisalign has no lasting impacts on the appearance of your teeth (except to straighten them) and is nearly invisible when worn. They tend to be a bit more expensive than braces. Because they are removable, your teen needs to have the discipline to wear them at least 22 hours a day, every day, but will be able to eat and drink anything they want as long as the trays are removed first.
Your dentist will work with you to find the best orthodontic solution for your teen; make sure to ask them about all the options! We love helping our Forest Lawn neighbours have healthy, beautiful smiles, so give us a call to set up your appointment today!
Suite 600, 2710 17th Ave SE
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