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Being the parents of a teenager can be a real struggle sometimes, especially when it comes to health checks and procedures that can affect their looks. At this age, children are very self-conscious about their appearance, and Instagram culture every day makes it harder for them with its sky-high beauty standards. 

Not only oral health and proper occlusion play a crucial role in being generally healthy, but it’s also a huge part of the facial aesthetics. Malocclusion distorts the facial features, messes up with the proportions of the face, and can become a big insecurity in itself. Besides, in adulthood, it will be way more difficult and expensive to fix, and they will have to pay for braces or Invisalign themselves. This is why the earlier they start this journey, the better.

Aligners May Look Cuter, but Is It All That Matters?

Teenagers might prefer the idea of wearing aligners rather than braces because of the aesthetic and discomfort issues. However, it’s not the only difference between them, and you cannot choose one or another based only on your child’s preferences and your budget. To understand what will be better for your child, it’s necessary to visit an orthodontist and make a full check of their occlusion.

When Aligners Is Not an Option

If the malocclusion is not significant, or there are just slight defects in the teeth of your teenager, like a gap between the teeth or a little unalignment of the teeth row, Invisalign may be helpful. In more difficult cases of deformation, you should consider braces. In addition, Invisalign can only be an option for adult teeth. 

Aligners won’t fix significant deformations and cannot be applied in an early teenage. It’s important to wear them for as long as 20 hours a day to achieve the desired result. As the defect is being corrected, your orthodontist gives you a new aligner. It may be required once in 2-3 weeks, and it can be about 30 aligners to change throughout the entire treatment plan. The hygiene of Invisalign is as simple as brushing it with a toothbrush twice a day, just like teeth. At night the construction should be taken off. 

What About Braces?

The braces can fix more difficult cases of malocclusion, and can be applied from an earlier age but require more effort in hygiene, bring more discomfort, and look less aesthetic. They require special tools for cleaning, dietary restrictions not to damage the construction, and have to be regularly adjusted according to the changes in occlusion in the process of treatment. 

Your child can wear dental braces starting from as early as 12 years old. Today braces don’t look as scary as they used to when you were young; they are created in various colors and designs, and can even be made of transparent ceramics.

The bottom line

As there are many important issues to consider when making a choice, you cannot decide it without the specialist based only on your individual preferences. Your child might not be happy if the orthodontist considers teeth braces a better option for them.

As a parent, you can have an adult talk with them about the importance of proper occlusion for their general health and the aesthetics of their face. Explain that it will benefit them in the future and give them more confidence as their smile will be so much more beautiful.

However, it might not save you from tantrums. All you can do is be patient and supportive; your child goes through a difficult age and will appreciate your support and tolerance as they grow older.

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