Getting braces is a right of passage for most teens and now, with so many ways to fix their smiles, we can get overwhelmed with the choices available.
Braces have created winning smiles since Ancient times and continue to do so. But are fixed braces more effective than aligners? Which gets the job done quicker?
To help you, we’ve compiled five reasons why traditional braces are the better option.
What Do We Mean by Traditional Braces?
Conventional braces consist of metal brackets bonded to the enamel of every tooth. Your orthodontist slides a metal archwire between the brackets connected by colorful (or neutral) elastic O-rings.
To protect your teen’s dental health, the dentist adjusts the archwires to pull teeth into their right position. Your teen may need orthodontic treatment because:
- They have an overbite or teeth that are too high
- They need teeth realignment
- They have a space between teeth or a dental overlap
- Your teen’s orthodontist wants to prevent premature erosion
Having your teen’s teeth straightened is one reason to get orthodontic treatment, but it also improves the functioning of the teeth and jaw muscles.
But why are traditional braces a better option than other forms of aligners?
1. You Can’t Lose Braces
“Mom, I wrapped up my Invisalign in tissue and left it on my lunch tray in school.”
You won’t have to hear any of these excuses when your little one has fixed braces. Because you have to take out aligners to eat, brush, or floss, there’s a higher chance of your teen losing them. And if they accidentally throw the trays away in the garbage, it might extend their overall treatment time as their teeth shift while they wait for new ones to be made.
Also, it’s important to note that braces don’t require any extra cleaning steps besides regular brushing and flossing. It’s known that aligner attachments can stain easily for those who drink hot drinks. The invisible composite gets stained and potentially warp the aligners.
The aligner’s success also depends on how often your teen wears them. Every dentist recommends wearing aligners 22 hours a day so if you don’t think your child will stick to this, braces are a better alternative because they’re bonded to the teeth.
The only thing you can consume with your aligners in is water, which is a problem if your teen has commitments during lunchtime and with after-school activities. Whereas with braces, you can eat quickly without worrying about misplacing or breaking your aligners.
2. Braces Are Better for Complex Cases
People often turn to aligners for simple dental issues, whereas braces work far more efficiently for simple and complex cases.
Braces for teens move misaligned teeth within a short period of time, help fix misaligned bites, and correct crowded teeth.
This is because aligners focus on the pressure on the upper part of your teeth whereas braces exert equal pressure on the entire tooth. Doing this pushes the tooth into the right position from the top to bottom which is far more effective.
3. Faster Treatment Time
Braces use metal wires and brackets to pull teeth into the right place. This means they have more force compared to Invisalign which is limited to how many teeth can be moved at once.
If you’re hoping to close gaps and align teeth quickly, braces are for you. The speed of treatment is also a big factor as many people want to finish their treatment plan as quickly as possible.
Also, aligners require around 40 trays during normal treatment and then refinement aligners afterward to fix any stubborn teeth. So, once your teen is ready to finish the treatment, they must wear aligners for even longer.
Once your teen is done with braces, all they need to do is to wear a retainer at night to keep their teeth in the correct spots. This is another advantage as the retainers will be harder to misplace and won’t affect their daily life as much as aligners. Some dentists will even affix permanent wire retainers to the backs of your teeth, making them impossible to lose.
4. Multiple Types of Braces to Choose From
Depending on their mood, patients can choose which types of braces they want thanks to a selection of ceramic or lingual braces.
For example, you can get brackets to match your enamel color for a discreet look or make a statement with a lime-green set of bands. It’s all up to you.
Also, many types of braces can be less expensive than aligner trays. Aligners are custom-made with 3D technology, which can hike up the overall price.
Braces are also easier for the orthodontist to work with. At each appointment, they can inspect your teen’s braces and adjust the wires accordingly without relying on a third party (a lab).
5. No Self-Discipline Needed
It’s tempting to take removable aligners out during the day, but it’s essential to keep them in for a full 22 hours. If your child tends to snack throughout the day or tends to forget to take care of their teeth, they might not have their aligners in for long enough each day.
Thankfully, you don’t have to think about braces being in your mouth—aside from brushing and flossing, they take care of themselves.
So, Are You on Team Braces?
Even with all of the tooth alignment options available today, traditional braces are often still the best choice. Not only are they a better way to fix complex dental problems, but they also let your little one have fun expressing themselves with colorful bands.
Further, you get peace of mind knowing that your teen can’t lose their braces and will flash a sparkling smile in no time.