Invisalign vs Braces: Which Is Best for Your Child?

Invisalign vs Braces

You make dozens of decisions on behalf of your children every day. And whether it’s deciding what school to send them to or what you’re going to serve them for dinner, you want to do what’s best for your child.

When it comes to dental care you know that they need to brush and floss every day. But what about their orthodontic care? Have you considered the different options that are available to straighten teeth?

If you’re deciding between Invisalign vs braces, you’ll need to know the facts and be able to compare things like price, comfort, and total time.

Keep reading for a simple decision-making guide between Invisalign and traditional braces.

Metal Braces

Metal braces may have been around since the mid-1700s! But of course, the technology has dramatically improved since then. Metal braces are small, more comfortable and less noticeable than ever before.

Of course, there are also some aesthetic reasons that children don’t want to have braces. Read the pros and cons of metal braces below.

Pros of Metal Braces

Metal braces are preferred by some parents because they are incredibly durable. They allow kids to eat (most foods) comfortably without the risk of breaking, bending, or warping their braces.

Another benefit to metal braces is that they cannot remove them. Therefore it’s much harder for kids to lose or misplace them. The metal braces make it easier to comply with the orthodontist’s recommendations because your child can’t take them out whenever he or she wants.

Metal braces may also work more quickly for this reason. Another benefit? Metal braces don’t impair speech as Invisalign can. After your child gets used to the braces, their speech and smile are unaffected. 

Metal braces are usually more affordable than Invisalign. Orthodontic care can cost a lot of money, so as a parent it’s appealing to save a little bit of cash when you can. 

And finally, children (especially younger children) enjoy being able to customize their braces with different colored bands. It may seem silly but kids enjoy changing it up at each visit.

Cons of Metal Braces

Metal braces come with a long list of foods to avoid. Candy, gum, and many other treats are absolutely forbidden with metal braces. And if your child breaks one of those rules it could be near impossible to get food unstuck. It’s also hard to clean teeth underneath your brackets and bands.

Metal braces can be uncomfortable especially for the first few days after appointments. Usually, your orthodontist can recommend ways of reducing the discomfort. 

When kids play sports they have to protect their mouth and gums from being irritated or damaged from the braces. A good mouthguard will usually solve this issue but it can be a pain for your child to wear during practice and games.

The most common complaint about metal braces is that they are very noticeable. There are clear braces options but the traditional metal braces are obvious. Some kids like the appearance of the braces at first, but older kids may feel self-conscious about the appearance.


Invisalign is a relatively new teeth-straightening option. It involves sets of clear plastic trays intended to straighten teeth without the noticeable appearance of metal braces.

Adults may choose Invisalign because they are embarrassed about their braces, but Invisalign for kids is becoming increasingly popular. 

Pros of Invisalign

Among the benefits of Invisalign is that they are virtually undetectable in person and in pictures. They are much easier to clean than braces and keeping your teeth and gums clean is easier too.

With Invisalign, your child can eat anything they want. They remove the trays, eat, brush, and put the trays back in. You don’t have to worry about emergency visits when brackets come off or food gets stuck. Invisalign can also help prevent cavities because regular dental care is easier.

Because of the nature of the treatment, Invisalign requires fewer visits to the orthodontist. This is a benefit for kids and parents alike!

But how long does Invisalign take? Good question! The total time is actually less on average than metal braces. If your child takes good care of their trays and wears them diligently they can save total treatment time.

Ultimately Invisalign can help children and teens feel more confident about their smile. They can achieve straight teeth without dealing with the look of braces.

Cons of Invisalign

Invisalign is typically more expensive than metal braces. And while it can be as effective, it depends on how diligent your child is about wearing his or her trays. So for younger children or particularly forgetful children, Invisalign might not be the best option.

Invisalign can also still cause some pain or discomfort, especially when using a new set of trays. Invisalign trays can also become chipped, warped, or stained if they are not worn according to the orthodontist’s guidelines.

Invisalign vs Braces

Now you know the major pros and cons of each teeth-straightening technique. When it comes to making the best choice for your child consider age and lifestyle first. Younger children may not be able to handle the responsibility of keeping and cleaning their Invisalign. 

Invisalign for teens might be more appropriate because they have a better understanding of personal responsibility. If your child is playing sports, Invisalign is safer and less of a hassle.

In general, you have to weigh each of these factors and talk to your child about the choice between braces and Invisalign. 

A Beautiful Smile for Life

No matter what you choose, you are giving your child the gift of a beautiful, healthy smile. Remember that children should still visit the dentist regularly if they have braces or Invisalign. Proper dental hygiene is a part of overall physical health for children and teens.

You have all the information you need to make a great decision between Invisalign vs braces. Best of luck!

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