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A Parent’s Guide: Braces and Invisalign for Teens

A Parent’s Guide: Braces and Invisalign for Teens

As parents, we want the best for our children, and that includes their smiles. When your teen needs help to achieve a perfect smile, there are a couple of choices for parents to consider including traditional braces or Invisalign near you. This guide aims to assist parents in comprehending both choices, enabling them to make the best decision for their teenager.

Why Teens Need Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment helps to correct teeth and jaw alignment. Common issues include:

  1. Crowded Teeth: Teeth that overlap each other.
  2. Gaps: Spaces between teeth.
  3. Overbite: Upper teeth stick out too far over the lower teeth.
  4. Underbite: Lower teeth extend past the upper teeth.

These issues can create difficulties in chewing food, maintaining proper dental hygiene, and occasionally articulating clearly. Orthodontic treatment can enhance your teenager’s oral health and boost their confidence.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are what most people think of first when they consider orthodontic treatment. They involve metal brackets glued to each tooth and connected by wires and rubber bands. Here are some key points to consider: 

  1. How They Work: The wires and brackets slowly move the teeth into the correct position. Every month, your teen will visit the orthodontist to tighten the wires, which keep the teeth moving in the right direction.
  2. Materials: Most braces are made of metal, but there are also options like clear ceramic braces for adults that are less noticeable because they blend in with the colour of the teeth.
  3. Duration: Teens usually wear braces for about 1 to 3 years, depending on the complexity of their dental issues.
  4. Maintenance: Braces require regular cleaning. Your teen will need to brush and floss carefully to avoid plaque buildup around the brackets.
  5. Dietary Restrictions: Teens with braces need to avoid certain foods that can damage the brackets and wires. These include sticky foods like gum, hard foods like nuts, and chewy foods.

Pros and Cons of Braces

Pros Cons
Effective: Braces can restore even the most complex dental issues. Visible: Braces are noticeable, which may cause some teens to feel self-conscious.
Durable: They are tough and can handle most types of treatment. Diet Changes: Your teen will need to avoid certain foods.
Discomfort: Braces can cause soreness, especially after adjustments.



Invisalign is a newer alternative to traditional braces. It involves a series of clear, removable aligners that fit over the teeth. Below is valuable  information outlining Invisalign:

  1. How They Work: Teens wear a set of aligners for about two weeks, then switch to a new set. Each set gradually shifts the teeth into place. They need to be worn for 20–22 hours a day.
  2. Appearance: Invisalign aligners are almost invisible, which makes them a popular choice for self-conscious teens.
  3. Comfort: The aligners are smooth and less likely to irritate gums and cheeks compared to metal brackets.
  4. Duration: The treatment time for Invisalign is similar to braces, usually about 1 to 2 years.
  5. Maintenance: Aligners need to be cleaned regularly, and teens should brush and floss their teeth after every meal before putting the aligners back in.

Pros and Cons of Invisalign


Pros Cons
Aesthetics: They are clear and barely noticeable. Discipline: Teens need to wear them for the recommended 20–22 hours a day, which requires discipline.
Removable: Aligners can be taken out for eating, brushing, and special occasions. Not for Everyone: Invisalign may not be suitable for severe dental issues.
Comfort: Generally more comfortable than metal braces. Cost: Invisalign might cost you more compared to traditional braces.


Making the Decision: Braces or Invisalign?

Factors to consider when deciding between braces and Invisalign: 

  1. Dental Needs: Consult with an orthodontist to see which option is best for your teen’s specific dental issues.
  2. Lifestyle: Consider your teen’s lifestyle and personality. If they are responsible and can continue to wear the best invisible aligners as required; Invisalign may be a good fit. If they are less likely to follow through, braces may be more effective.
  3. Cost: Check with your insurance to see what is covered, and discuss payment options with the orthodontist.
  4. Comfort and Appearance: Consider what will make your teen feel most comfortable and confident.

Are You Looking for Orthodontic Care for Your Teen?

Orthodontic treatment is a significant milestone in helping your teenager achieve a healthier and more confident smile. If you are looking for an orthodontist in NE Calgary, consider Totally Orthodontics. At our dental clinic, our skilled professionals bring years of expertise to deliver top-notch service and excellent results by utilizing cutting-edge technology. If you are a parent looking for options, contact us today and schedule a consultation. We would be delighted to address any questions and outline what you can anticipate.