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.