When parents are considering orthodontic work for their teenagers, many may naturally gravitate towards orthodontic options with high aesthetics. However, more and more teenagers and adults alike are experiencing the benefits that come from utilizing traditional braces instead of things like Invisalign. But why would teenagers prefer traditional metal braces and what benefits do they come with?
Before we can answer that question, is important to take a look at what orthodontic experts have to say on the topic.
Research shows that children and adolescents prefer metal braces to clear aligners (Kuhlman DC et al.,2016). This may seem counter-intuitive, but when it comes to braces, aesthetic perceptions can be affected by multiple factors (Kuhlman DC et al.,2016). The modern materials used in metal braces can mean faster treatment times, and the ability to customize the colors makes them a lot more fun than clear aligners.
Orthodontics has rapidly evolved to meet the aesthetic demands of their patients, and that includes teenagers (Kuhlman DC et al.,2016).
One thing that’s important to know about braces for teens is that every system is going to have benefits and drawbacks. Teens with braces may think that Invisalign is a better option while teens with Invisalign may think that getting braces are better. But why is there a disparity? What are some of the pros of traditional braces that make many people – teenagers and adults alike – realize what a good option they are?
One of the major reasons is simply convenience. With Invisalign, it is up to the individuals to be responsible to manage their own orthodontics. This means that when individuals are using Invisalign it is up to your teenager to make sure that they wear their orthodontics for the requisite 22 hours per day, not lose them, bend them, break them, clean them incorrectly which can cause damage or warping, and also make sure to wear them even while sleeping.
Because Invisalign can actually be removed, it puts a big burden on a teenager to make sure they remember to use them regularly. Anytime that Invisalign is not being used it is not only not going to treat any orthodontic problems but can also extend orthodontic treatment significantly.
Teenagers with braces
This is one of the reasons why Invisalign is not always the preferred option when it comes to teenagers because while it is less conspicuous than traditional braces are in treating orthodontic problems, it can oftentimes take significantly longer and with teens usually does. Because Invisalign is so much slower than traditional braces, teenagers may be dealing with their orthodontic issue for far longer than they would if they had chosen to go with more conventional methods.
When you add in the responsibility of having to keep them clean after every meal, making sure they are not lost, making sure they continue to fit, and ensuring they do not get damaged in any way can all be stressful, especially since replacing a broken, damaged, or missing Invisalign retainer can be hundreds of dollars.
Since many parents would take the cost of a lost or damaged retainer from their teenagers it is a little wonder then that when faced with the risk of potential financial hardship, many teenagers opt to go the faster, safer, and simpler way instead of utilizing Invisalign.
Reasons to get braces
As teenagers with braces know when they ask the question why get braces, there are a whole variety of reasons why braces actually end up being a winning option in many cases.
One of the biggest ones by far is convenience. Traditional metal braces are simply attached all the time and because of that the orthodontic treatment happens continuously. There is no period where they are off or not attached. They are therefore able to treat orthodontic issues far faster. This speed with which traditional braces are able to work as opposed to Invisalign is one reason why many individuals, especially those with significant orthodontic problems, may decide to go with the better option of traditional braces instead of Invisalign.
Another driving factor can be if the procedure is quite difficult. While Invisalign is okay at dealing with simple to moderate orthodontic issues, it is less capable when it comes to dealing with more significant corrective problems. With this in mind, it is little wonder that many individuals who have serious orthodontic issues realize that even if they would prefer Invisalign, it’s simply not a treatment that is on the table.
Teens with braces
Another reason that is often lost on many individuals who are not familiar with the advancements in modern medicine is that even things like traditional metal braces are becoming far less noticeable than they had been in years past. With every year that goes by, new advances happen in the field of orthodontic medicine and traditional braces are no exception.
Traditional metal braces for instance can utilize thinner wires that are also stronger and even memory metals that utilize the heat of the mouth to keep the wire taught longer, reducing the number of orthodontic visits required for the entirety of the procedure.
Braces for teens
Another major benefit when it comes to conventional braces is that there have even been significant advances when it comes to aesthetics as well. This is true not only with traditional metal braces but also with treatments like ceramic braces. Ceramic braces use tooth-colored ceramics to help blend in with the natural teeth colors and help ensure that it is far less noticeable than other orthodontic options.
While few options are better than Invisalign when it comes to aesthetics, ceramic braces do come close, and especially when coupled with the speed with which they are able to work it often finds a home with teenagers who want to split the balance between aesthetics, cost, and speed of treatment.
Wearing braces might not be fun, but far worse than that is having to wear them longer than necessary.
Why get braces?
With traditional options coming in as often times far more affordable, quicker to help treat issues, and with many different aesthetic options available even when it comes to traditional braces, it comes as no surprise that teenagers are realizing that the long-term benefits of faster treatment times, less time spent at the orthodontic office, and less personal worry about the responsibility of managing orthodontics are all major driving factors when it comes to why teenagers particularly are deciding their best bet might be traditional braces.
Traditional metal braces are not the only option when it comes to braces for teenagers. Just like adults, teenagers also have other options including Invisalign, ceramic braces, and lingual braces.
Traditional metal braces have the advantage of being quite quick to work and many teenagers like the fact that they can be personalized. If your teenager wants to personalize their braces, the options are vast. For example, they can get different colors to match their school colors, or for any festivities.
If they are feeling patriotic for example, then they can get red, white, and blue bands to match. For Christmas, your teenager can get a mix of red and green colored dental braces to show their festive spirit.
The possibilities are endless; the orthodontist will have a color wheel that will show complimentary colors and also what colors will go best with certain skin tones. If your child wants to get braces to match their eyes, they can have fun with that as well.
Additionally, traditional metal braces are generally the cheapest option, which is a great way to save on your budget. They are relatively quick-acting and additionally, orthodontists find that because teenagers are still growing, the treatment is generally easier and faster.
Kuhlman, D. C., Lima, T. A., Duplat, C. B., & Capelli, J., Junior (2016). Esthetic perception of orthodontic appliances by Brazilian children and adolescents. Dental press journal of orthodontics, 21(5), 58–66. https://doi.org/10.1590/2177-6709.21.5.058-066.oar