Clear Aligners vs. Braces: Which Is the Right Choice for My Teen?

Clear Aligners vs. Braces: Which Is the Right Choice for My Teen?

For decades, braces have been a rite of passage for adolescents and teens. Orthodontic treatment straightens crooked teeth, fixes bite problems, and perfects smiles — but these days, traditional metal braces aren’t your teen’s only option.

As a board-certified orthodontist in Sunnyvale, California, Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, specializes in metal braces and clear aligners. Our team at Touni Orthodontics has helped hundreds of teens achieve picture-perfect smiles, but we know it’s not easy to decide whether braces or aligners are the right choice. We’re here to walk your family through this big decision.

How to choose between clear aligners and braces

Traditional braces use metal brackets with metal wires threaded through them to move teeth into proper alignment. The brackets are attached to the front surface of each tooth, and the braces work 24/7 to gradually give your teen straighter teeth.

Clear aligners are sets of custom-made, removable trays to move teeth. Your teen gets a new set of aligners every few weeks, and each set moves their teeth a little bit more. Aligners are removable, and they only work when they’re being worn.

Both braces and clear aligners have their benefits. The best choice for your teen depends on a few factors, and here’s how to decide.

Your teen’s personality

One of the biggest differences between braces and clear aligners is that one is permanent, while the other is removable.

If your teen gets braces, Dr. Touni attaches the braces to their teeth and makes adjustments at their orthodontic appointments. Your teen needs to learn how to clean their teeth and their braces since they can’t be removed to brush and floss. Cleaning takes a few extra minutes, but there’s no way they can lose their braces or forget to wear them.

If your teen gets clear aligners, they need to wear the aligners at least 22 hours a day. They can remove the aligners to eat and clean their teeth, which can make oral hygiene easier. Plus, aligners are clear, so treatment is more discreet during those self-conscious teen years.

However, aligners can easily get lost or forgotten. If your teen doesn’t wear their aligners as much as they should, treatment won’t be as effective.

Your teen’s dental needs

Everyone’s orthodontic needs are unique, and Dr. Touni offers custom treatment plans for teens. He fixes common issues like crooked teeth, gapped teeth, overlapping or crowded teeth, and bite misalignments with braces and clear aligners.

If your teen has generally straight teeth with just a few small misalignments, clear aligners could be a quick solution to perfect their smile. If they have more complex needs that require a longer treatment plan, braces may be more effective.

What to expect at your teen’s orthodontic consultation

There’s a lot to consider when deciding which orthodontic treatment is right for your teen. The best way to make your decision is to talk to the experts.

Dr. Touni and our team offer comprehensive orthodontic consultations, where we examine your teen’s mouth and develop a custom treatment recommendation. We evaluate their teeth and their bite and ask questions about their lifestyle, habits, and personality.

We answer any questions you and your teen have about braces and clear aligners, and we help you decide which option is best for them. No matter which method you choose, we partner with you and your teen to help them achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

Ready to get started? Call us or request an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do Impacted Teeth Require Surgery?

Do Impacted Teeth Require Surgery?

Impacted teeth can not only cause pain but also put your oral health at risk. While surgery isn't always necessary, it may be the most effective treatment to keep your smile healthy.
What’s the Best Way to Treat an Overbite?

What’s the Best Way to Treat an Overbite?

Overbites are one of the most common issues orthodontists address. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with alignment problems. There are safe, effective approaches to correct your overbite.
Can Impacted Teeth Cause Crooked Teeth?

Can Impacted Teeth Cause Crooked Teeth?

An impacted tooth is trapped under your gum line — but even though it’s not always visible, it can have a very noticeable effect on your smile. Find out why impacted teeth can make your other teeth crooked and how treatment can help.
What Is the Best Age for Clear Aligners?

What Is the Best Age for Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners are a popular alternative to traditional metal braces. They straighten teeth discreetly — but what’s the right age to start treatment? Learn the benefits and drawbacks of clear aligners for children, teens, and adults.
4 Reasons to Consider Orthodontics for Your Child

4 Reasons to Consider Orthodontics for Your Child

Orthodontic treatment isn’t just for teenagers. In fact, early intervention helps set the stage for a lifetime of healthier smiles — and it’s time to consider orthodontics for your child. Learn the benefits and what to expect here.