What’s the Best Option Between Clear Aligners and Braces for Teenagers?

What’s the Best Option Between Clear Aligners and Braces for Teenagers?

Clear aligners are all the rage right now and look like the perfect alternative to traditional braces. One group that seems to gravitate towards them is teenagers who may not want to deal with the embarrassment of wearing braces. Clear aligners are almost impossible to detect to someone who doesn’t know them and have many other benefits. There are still some cases where traditional braces might be the best or only option. Let’s take a look at which one you should pick.

How Severe is the Condition?

You should know that while clear aligners are great at what they do, they have some limits. In some extreme cases, you will have no choice but to go with them to fix the issue. Severe malocclusions will not only require braces but also multiple follow-up visits.

If the issue is minor, however, then clear aligners are definitely the best option. These will allow you to correct the issues simply and unobtrusively. There will be no need to visit a doctor, or even leave the comfort of your home.

You have services like ALIGNERCO that that will allow you to get those shipped right to your door. They also have a guide that explains all you need to know before you buy your clear braces. They outline exactly how they work, their limitations, and how much they cost. They also run down some additional benefits they have over traditional braces, so you can make a wise decision.

What’s Your Budget?

You should also know that braces can get very expensive. Metal braces can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, and the price can go as high as $10,000 if we’re talking about ceramic braces. Clear aligners, on the other hand, can be found for as low as $1,150 and will do just as great of a job as long as the issue is not as severe.

How Responsible Are They?

This is another very important thing you’ll need to assess before you get a teenager braces. While these do not have the same restrictions as traditional braces, you still have to use them with care. For instance, these will need to be removed and the teeth brushed after every single meal. So, if you have to run after them so they brush their teeth before going to bed, you might have an issue.

How Self Conscious are They?

You also have to look at their temperament before you pick braces. If they’re already suffering from self-image issues or have trouble socializing at school, you don’t want to put an additional layer of embarrassment by giving them braces. Bullying wouldn’t exist in a perfect world, but the sad truth is that kids can be extremely cruel and will use anything to bully someone. So, consider how much self-confidence they have before getting braces, and don’t be afraid to talk to them to get a better idea of their mental state.

Clear aligners could be the best option for your child, but it all depends on their condition, temperament, and how much you can spend. Sit down with them and ask their opinion, and make sure that they’re responsible enough to care for them.

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What everyone should know before getting dental braces

Want to get back you nice smile and you need braces, but don’t know what to expect?

What are the costs? What are the best types available? What are the steps involved? What are the risks involved? Are they painful?

Fear not, by the end of this article, you’ll have an answer to all of these questions and some!



Ready? Let’s dive right in!

What types of dental braces are there available?

Traditional Braces

You might think of these braces as those awful ones like in The Ugly Betty.

Well, this is what they used to look like. But not anymore. They are now much lighter in weight and structure than they used to be.

They are made from a high-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using some kind of cement.

Each bracket is linked to the other one with a thin archwire basically drags your teeth (slowly) in the correct position.

These archwires are in turn attached to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or o-rings.

Ceramic Braces

These are very similar to the traditional braces. They work the same way, but the braces are made from a clear, transparent ceramic material.

The advantage over the traditional braces is that they are less visible to others.

The disadvantage is that sometimes patients might  occasionally find that the elastics become discolored, which can cause marks on the teeth.

Fortunately, your orthodontist might recommend you to use a special solution to apply to your teeth in order to protect them against cavities.

Damon Braces

This is one of the most popular type of dentists because it provides gentler treatment and you have to go less often to your dentist. So you also save time and money.

But this is not the only advantage.

Damon braces are self-ligating and use a slide mechanism instead of elastics to connect the archwires.

This means you will see faster results because your teeth can move on their own, without needing to be adjusted.

And because the braces are self-ligating, they cause put less pressure on your teeth, so you feel less pain.

And there’s one more advantage to this. It’s also easier to keep them clean.

Clear and Removable Aligners

Invisalign is like a mouth guard with the advantage that it aligns your teeth.

You can remove them anytime you want and you can clean them whenever you want.

The disadvantage of this type of braces is that you have to change them out for a newly made one every two weeks. This is because one the aligner brings your teeth closer, it isn’t good anymore. So basically, each new aligner takes the adjustment of your teeth one step further.

Forsus Appliances

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children get screened by an orthodontist at the age of 7.

This is because at this age you have the most chances to correct your teeth fast.  

As you can see from the picture above, this device basically uses a spring that attaches to the braces and adjusts the upper or lower jaw into position.

Palatal Expanders

When you have overcrowded teeth, you have 2 options: extract the tooth or use palatal expansion.

In the past, tooth extraction was preferred. But today, fortunately, you can save your teeth by wearing this device which basically applies pressure to the back of your upper molars to gradually move your teeth farther apart.

This expands your palate and makes it possible for other types of braces to be fitted to correct the position of your teeth.

What are the best type of braces?

As you’ve already seen, there isn’t a “best type”.

You choose your dental braces based on 3 factors:

  1. How overcrowded your teeth are (severe cases require different type of braces)
  2. How visible/comfortable you want them to be
  3. What is your budget (Invisalign costs a bit more than traditional ones)

Either way, only your dentist can tell you for sure what type of dental braces you actually NEED.



Are dental braces painful?

The answer is both yes and no.

You will feel a mild soreness or discomfort after the orthodontic wire is engaged into the newly placed brackets.

This discomfort may may last for a few days to a week while your teeth will be a bit more sensible when you bite, depending on how hard is the food you eat.

Either way, you won’t feel any deep pains.

Another discomfort you may also feel at first is that you may feel that your braces are sticking out, which is completely normal.

As you get used to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern.  

In fact, when you get your braces off, your teeth will feel strange without them for a while, too!

How much do dental braces cost?

Again, it depends.

But here are some numbers, just to get an idea.

  • Metal braces (traditional braces) : $3,000 – 7,000
  • Ceramic braces : $4,000 – 8,000
  • Lingual braces : $8,000 – 10,000
  • Invisalign : $4,000 – 7,400

What are the next steps?

If you have overcrowded teeth, only your dentist can give you a pertinent advice. Depending on the severity of your problem, he can recommend you what you should do next.

But one thing is for sure, the sooner you go to a dentist, the sooner you’ll get back your beautiful smile!

About the author

Patrik Bindea is a growth hacking marketer and the owner of Strodin Dental Marketing Company, where he helps dentists get more patients. He obsessively tests different marketing ideas until he finds those details that turn strategies, concepts and words into sales.  

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