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Why Aligners Are Better Than Braces for Teenagers

Teenagers today have many options when it comes to correcting issues with the alignment of their teeth. While traditional metal braces used to be the go-to solution, clear plastic aligners have become an increasingly popular alternative in recent years. Aligners offer a variety of benefits that make them a better choice than braces for many teenagers.

More Aesthetically Pleasing

One of the biggest reasons teenagers tend to prefer teeth aligners over braces is aesthetics. Metal braces feature brackets and wires that are cemented to the teeth, making them highly visible. This can lead to self-consciousness and teenagers feeling embarrassed to show their teeth.

Clear teeth aligners, on the other hand, are nearly invisible. The smooth, transparent plastic molds over the teeth to gradually shift them into place over time. But they blend right in, allowing teens to smile confidently. Aligners are difficult to detect, so teens don’t have to feel anxious about their appearance.

Removable for Eating and Brushing

Braces are fixed in place 24/7, which makes some aspects of oral hygiene more challenging. Flossing and brushing take longer, as teens have to carefully clean around each bracket and wire. And certain foods can damage braces, requiring significant adjustments to the diet.

With clear aligners, teenagers can simply remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing. This makes keeping teeth and gums healthy much simpler. Teens can also eat whatever foods they want without worry. Being able to remove the aligners provides convenience and flexibility.

Shorter Treatment Times

While every case is different, the average braces treatment takes around two years. For teenagers who want their smile corrected faster, the best teeth aligners provide more rapid results. On average, aligner treatment is complete within one year.

Some teens may even be candidates for ultra-fast options like 3 to 6 month plans. The ability to get a straighter smile in less time is highly appealing to teenagers who want to see dramatic changes sooner.

Less Pain and Discomfort

Braces use constant pressure to move teeth into alignment. This can cause moderate to severe discomfort, especially after adjustments. The brackets also tend to irritate the lips and cheeks while they are getting used to the sensation.

Aligners move teeth incrementally so there is less pain involved. Each set slowly shifts the position a small amount. Since they are removable, there is no irritation to the soft tissues. Some tenderness is normal when adjusting to a new aligner tray, but it is generally mild. Teenagers report much less discomfort overall.

Better Oral Health

Fixed braces make dental care more difficult, leading to more plaque buildup, gingivitis, cavities, and decalcification markings around brackets. Aligners minimize these issues by being removable for easy access in cleaning the teeth thoroughly.

Also, when food gets trapped by braces, it can lead to tartar, inflammation, and other problems. With aligners, keeping teeth clean is simple and effective. Teens have a much easier time maintaining good oral hygiene.

Aligners Are Discreet

Braces stand out visually, which many teens feel makes them a target for teasing and bullying. Aligners are practically invisible, so classmates may not even notice someone is straightening their teeth. This allows teens to avoid unwanted attention at school.

Clear aligners also allow teenagers to temporarily remove them for things like acting in a play, giving a speech, photoshoots, and more. Teens don’t have to sacrifice participation in activities to achieve the smile they want. Aligners provide flexibility and discretion.

Less Impact on Lifestyle

Between dietary changes, discomfort, or issues with self-confidence, braces can negatively impact a teenager’s lifestyle. Being unable to eat certain foods like popcorn or caramel is a common complaint about braces. And the achy tightness that often follows adjustments can make teens less social.

With clear aligners, teenagers don’t have to put life on hold for straight teeth. Their regular lifestyle or hobbies don’t need to be adjusted much at all. Teens can continue seeing friends, playing sports, pursuing interests, and more with the convenience of removable aligners. There is minimal impact on quality of life.

Better Candidate for Teens 

Due to the difference in how aligners and braces shift teeth, aligners are better suited for some teens than braces. For example, teens who play contact sports like football often cannot get braces due to the likelihood of injury. But aligners offer a safer option.

Teens who have issues with oral hygiene and tend to get cavities frequently are also better candidates for aligners. Additionally, aligners work better than braces for minor to moderate alignment issues. There are many cases where aligners are the preferred treatment choice.

Aligners Offer Teenagers an Advantage

From improved aesthetics and shorter treatment times to less pain and a lower impact on lifestyle, aligners offer advantages over braces for teenagers seeking to improve their smile. Clear aligners provide an invisible, convenient, and comfortable treatment option.

With innovations making aligners like these more affordable and accessible, they are now considered the better choice over braces for many teens and their parents. Aligners allow teenagers to achieve the smile they want with minimal disruption to their lives.

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