Braces vs. Clear Aligners: Which Is Right for Your Child?

Braces vs. clear aligners

There are several options to straighten your child’s teeth.

It’s incredibly common for children to require some form of orthodontic treatment as they develop. Your child may need treatment to straighten teeth to maintain long-term oral health, whether due to crowded teeth, malocclusion, or other alignment issues. 

Today, clear aligners can provide an alternative to traditional braces. There are a few benefits of aligners to consider when choosing whether aligners or braces will be right for your child.

Clear aligners are barely visible.

For both children and adults, one of the major sticking points when committing to braces is appearance. Metal braces are instantly visible and can draw attention, which can impact the self-confidence of your child and leave them reluctant to share their smile with the world.

Ceramic braces can provide better results by using the same principle as metal braces but with different materials. They may be the same color as teeth, but their structure still sticks out from the teeth and can be noticed.

Clear aligners do a much better job of providing inconspicuous treatment. The aligners are practically invisible and follow the contour of your child’s teeth. This makes them very difficult to notice unless you’re really looking for them. Your child can get the orthodontic treatment they need without any effect on their confidence.

Clear aligners are removable.

If you had braces as a child, you might remember some of the difficulties you had during your treatment. Certain foods had to be avoided so that hard or sticky pieces wouldn’t end up lodged in the braces. Brushing and flossing were made much more difficult. You might not want that experience for your child, and fortunately, there’s now another way.

Clear aligners can be removed as needed since they aren’t cemented to teeth like braces. When your child needs to eat, they can simply remove the aligners, eat their meal, brush their teeth, and put the aligners back on. Brushing and flossing are much easier as well, with no need to work around braces.

While the clear aligners are removable, you’ll need to ensure that your child keeps them on for at least 22 hours each day. They can be removed for eating or brushing, but leaving them off longer than that can drastically affect treatment results.

Clear aligners work in most cases, except for the very complex.

Most people in need of orthodontic treatment would prefer clear aligners for their ease of use and subtle appearance. However, it’s not always as simple as what the patient would prefer. Misalignments can range widely in their complexity, and that’s the primary factor in determining the right treatment method.

When you reach out to pediatric dental specialists about your child’s teeth, they’ll be able to determine the nature of any dental issues. From there, they can determine whether clear aligners will be an effective option for the specific tooth movements needed to correct your child’s smile.

Clear aligners are very versatile and can provide effective treatment in a wide range of cases. They are suitable for many different types of dental issues but not all. In particularly complex cases, traditional braces could be the better option despite the other benefits of clear aligners.

Clear aligners deliver results.

While clear aligners aren’t the right choice for every child’s dental issue, they are incredibly effective in cases where they are a good treatment option. However, it’s important that patients follow the instructions provided by pediatric dental specialists throughout the treatment to ensure proper results.

You and your child will be provided with instructions regarding the use of clear aligners. Following these instructions is vital, and parents need to ensure that their children are doing so.

Among the most important instructions is the requirement to wear the aligners for 22 hours each day. Even though clear aligners are very inconspicuous, children and teenagers have been known to avoid wearing them for extended periods. This can severely impact their final results and needs to be monitored closely.

It’s also important to follow through with checkups during the treatment process. While clear aligners don’t need regular tightening appointments like braces, there is still a need to check on progress at several points. Missing these appointments could allow problems during treatment to go unrecognized and unremedied.

Finding Out If Clear Aligners Are Right for Your Child

If your child appears to have crooked or crowded teeth or is dealing with issues like grinding, you should seek a pediatric dental specialist for a consultation. My Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska can determine whether your child needs orthodontic treatment and provide various treatment options. We provide both clear aligners and braces when needed, along with early orthodontic interventions for younger children. You can contact our office today to schedule an appointment for your child.