little girl cheeses at camera after learning about Braces vs Invisalign pros and cons

3 Tips: How to choose between braces & invisalign for you or your child

So you or your child need orthodontic treatment, but you’re both having trouble deciding between braces or Invisalign®. We’re familiar with this dilemma! So let’s talk more about each option and you or your child’s preferences. 

A common concern we hear from patients is having a “brace face” throughout treatment. In fact, 41% of teens think it’s embarrassing to wear braces! But aren’t braces highly-effective at straightening teeth and isn’t Invisalign expensive? We know you want to make the best decision for you or your child’s health while also staying within your budget so we’re here to support you with the facts.

Here’s a few tips for deciding between braces vs Invisalign treatment for you or your child.


Are braces “better” than Invisalign? 

First of all, no one treatment option is “better” than the other! Both braces and Invisalign are effective treatment options for correcting orthodontic conditions and giving you or your child a beautiful, healthy smile. At the end of the day, it all comes down to which one your family decides on. That being said, we’ve got a few tips for choosing the best orthodontic treatment option!


Tip #1: Understanding orthodontic condition(s)

At your child’s first orthodontic exam, one of our highly-experienced orthodontists will examine your child’s teeth and bite to determine which conditions are affecting their smile. Your child may have one, two, or more orthodontic issues responsible for their malocclusion (bad bite), this is common! 

While many orthodontic problems require a trained orthodontist’s eyes to detect, others are pretty obvious to parents and kids alike. Common orthodontic problems such as crowded teeth, crooked teeth, spacing or gaps, and some bite conditions, like overbite and underbite, can be noticeable. And these conditions happen when unhealthy teeth or jaw development occurs like losing a tooth too early or just genetics! 

Dr. Insoft and Dr. Hurst love to talk about everything orthodontics so be sure to ask them any questions or concerns you may have about your or your child’s orthodontic conditions or the treatments offered to you. They make time during every exam to make sure you and your child leave your first visit feeling comfortable and informed.


Tip #2: Evaluate your child’s lifestyle and personality

As parents, you know your child best! We encourage families to talk over each treatment option together and listen to your child’s concerns or hesitations. A few questions to consider during your chat are:

  • • Is your child in sports? Parents of kids or teens who play contact sports like football or basketball usually choose Invisalign over braces because their child’s safety during practice and games is their number one concern! 
  • • Do they have concerns about their appearance? If your child is already a little self-conscious about their looks, consider the aesthetic advantages of Invisalign vs braces for teenagers, as Invisalign is a more discreet option.
  • • Is your child more enthusiastic about one treatment above all others? It’s important to consider your child’s preferences. You want them to feel comfortable and motivated during treatment so they can get to their dream smile and learn some responsibility along the way! 
  • • What’s their level of responsibility or maturity? Consider your child’s ability to maintain proper oral hygiene throughout treatment. This is extremely important when deciding between braces or Invisalign for all patients.
  • • What extra dental products will your child need for life with braces or Invisalign? With braces, your child will need a floss threader, Super Floss, or an orthodontic flosser to help them floss around their wires and brackets. With Invisalign, your child will not need additional dental products! Invisalign allows patients to brush and floss normally! Just remove the aligner and brush and floss the same as before!
  • • What is your budget? Affordability is an important factor to consider when making any financial decision, but we make it easy at Insoft & Hurst Orthodontics! Our office is a Top 1% provider for Invisalign, therefore the cost is actually less than braces! We offer a variety of discounts and flexible interest-free payment plans!


Tip #3: Consider all the braces vs Invisalign pros and cons 

As with everything there’s pros and cons to different orthodontic treatment options too! Here’s a helpful list of the advantages and disadvantages to each that can be helpful when deciding between braces or Invisalign for your 12 year old or younger.

Types of braces

At Insoft and Hurst Orthodontics, we have a few different treatment options for families to choose from. 

1.Damon™ self-ligating braces use advanced “sliding-door” technology to reduce the friction that’s common with braces treatment. So what does this mean? Your arch wires will slide through your brackets (back and forth), giving you increased comfort during your tooth movement journey!  

2. Traditional metal braces are high-quality metal alloy brackets that use elastics (tiny rubber bands for braces) to secure your archwires. 

3. Or gold braces for a unique treatment as well. 

Pros of braces

  • • Highly-effective at treating simple and complex orthodontic problems. Braces can help fix your teen’s bite and can eliminate crowding, spacing, cross bites, overbite, and underbite!
  • • Your child can personalize their braces with colors. Teens can choose from our wide variety of rubber band colors – go for a bold, fashion statement or a subtle monochrome look! 


Cons of braces

  • • Higher risk of orthodontic emergencies. Braces brackets and wires can be prone to bend or break, especially if your teen plays contact sports! While we always recommend kids and teens wear a mouthguard to protect their smile, accidents can still happen off the field. 
  • • Orthodontic emergencies. Emergency appointments (broken braces, pokey wires, accidents involving trauma to the face or mouth) take additional time out of your busy schedule to repair.
  • • Restrictive diet. Hard, crunchy, sticky foods are off the table for your child with braces. Your teens’ brackets can crack and break under the pressure exerted by these types of foods! Sticky foods are also difficult to clean from brackets and causes the dental cement to loosen or detach from braces brackets.
  • • White marks, cavities & periodontal (tissue) problems. Braces are extremely difficult to clean around. Without a consistent regimen of proper brushing & flossing, teeth can break down causing permanent white spots (decalcification), decay and severely puffy gums (periodontitis). This can lead to appointments with specialists at an additional cost to you.


Invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign® is the clear alternative to traditional braces! Our patients can straighten their teeth without feeling self-conscious and with less pain. No need to worry about looking good for dinner dates, yearbook photos, prom dates, or the big game on Friday night. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign clear aligners are clear, comfortable, and removable.

Here’s a few pros for choosing Invisalign.

  • • Invisalign is virtually invisible. Our patients can live their social lives and smile confidently without hiding their smile; Invisalign is practically undetectable when in place.
  • • Invisalign offers stickers. Some of our younger patients are excited about colored braces. Invisalign takes it one step further! They offer a variety of different “stickables” that your child can change out weekly! Colors on braces can only be changed approximately every 8-10 weeks.
  • • Invisalign is removable. Remove your clear aligners to eat, brush your teeth, floss your teeth or clean your aligners. There will be no change to your current cleaning regimen!  You can also wear a sports mouthguard right over your Invisalign for extra protection. We will provide an Invisalign carrying case, when you remove your aligners. Then just rinse them out and pop them back in when you’re ready to!
  • • Invisalign is 90% more comfortable than braces. Invisalign trays are custom-designed for each smile. Your aligners are literally made for you, your perfect match!
  • • Invisalign is healthier for your teeth. Drs. Insoft & Hurst utilize a digital model of your teeth to prescribe movement to only the teeth that need to be adjusted. Braces utilize the adjacent teeth as “anchors” to move the teeth that need adjustment, causing all of your teeth to move. This is healthier for the surrounding bone & gum tissues.
  • • Invisalign won’t hold you back. Your favorite foods are still on the table! Invisalign doesn’t require any dietary restrictions; simply remove your aligners to eat and place them back in after. Invisalign empowers our patients to live life the way they want. 
  • • With Invisalign, there are less office visits. Office visits for patients with Invisalign are every 12 weeks with us versus monthly or bi-monthly visits for traditional braces. Which means less time you’re missing out in school, work and extracurriculars! 


Cons of choosing Invisalign for your child.

  • • Smile results depend on compliance. The only con with Invisalign, is that you have to be committed to wearing your trays for 20 hours a day. If you are not dedicated to your Invisalign treatment, treatment can be prolonged or you could not achieve the perfect smile we are striving for.


Choose a treatment that fits you at Insoft & Hurst!

No matter the orthodontic treatment your family decides on – braces or Invisalign – you’re helping create a radiant smile that will last a lifetime, helping boost your self-confidence and improving oral health! 

As a Diamond Plus Invisalign Provider, we’re ranked in the top 1% of all Invisalign providers in the world! No provider in Pinellas County has a more thorough knowledge of Invisalign and a case experience as diverse as ours. We understand your concerns about appearance with braces, that’s why we offer different treatment options so we can meet your smile needs and help you feel confident throughout your treatment!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. At your or your child’s first visit, our experienced orthodontists will craft a custom treatment and payment plan 100% for you! 

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Seminole or St Pete, come meet our amazing team! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.

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