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Are Aligners or Braces Best for Your Child’s Orthodontic Care?

Are Aligners or Braces Best for Your Child’s Orthodontic Care?

Orthodontic treatment is an important part of dental care for children. Proper alignment of teeth and jaws not only enhances a child’s appearance but also improves their oral health and overall well-being. Braces and clear aligners are two commonly used orthodontic treatment modalities for children, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will compare braces and clear aligners, highlighting the pros and cons of each.

Children's Braces

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that has been around for decades. They consist of metal or ceramic brackets that are bonded to the teeth and connected by wires and elastic bands.

Pros of braces for children:

  1. Effective for complex cases: Braces are highly effective in correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues, including severe crowding, abnormal eruption of teeth, and bite discrepancies.
  2. Shorter treatment time: Braces generally have a shorter treatment time compared to aligners for more severe cases.
  3. Less dependence on patient compliance: Braces require less maintenance than aligners since they are attached to the teeth and do not need to be removed for eating or brushing.

Cons of braces for children:

  1. Aesthetics: Traditional metal braces are highly visible and may not be aesthetically appealing, especially for older children or teens.
  2. Discomfort: Braces can cause discomfort, especially during the initial stages of treatment and after adjustments.
  3. Food restrictions: Certain foods, such as sticky or hard foods, need to be avoided while wearing braces to prevent damage to the brackets and wires.

Clear Aligners

Aligners are a relatively new orthodontic treatment for children that has gained popularity in recent years. They are clear plastic trays that are custom-made to fit over the teeth and gradually move them into the correct position. Aligners are an excellent option for children with mild to moderate orthodontic issues.

Pros of aligners for children:

  1. Aesthetics: Aligners are virtually invisible, making them an ideal option for children who are self-conscious about wearing braces.
  2. Removable: Aligners are removable, allowing children to eat, brush, and floss normally.
  3. No food restrictions: There are no food restrictions with aligners since they are removed for eating.

Cons of aligners for children:

  1. Effectiveness: Aligners may not be as efficient as braces in treating complex orthodontic issues.
  2. Discipline: Aligners require a high level of discipline and responsibility since they need to be worn for 20-22 hours a day.
  3. Cost: Aligners can be more expensive than traditional braces, depending on the complexity of the case.

Weighing Your Child’s Orthodontic Options

Both braces and clear aligners are excellent options for children's orthodontic treatment. Braces are a more traditional treatment option and are highly effective in treating complex orthodontic issues. Aligners, on the other hand, are a newer treatment option that are virtually invisible and removable, making them an ideal option for children who are self-conscious about wearing braces.

When deciding which treatment option to choose, it is essential to consider the child’s orthodontic needs, their aesthetic preferences, and their level of discipline and responsibility. Ultimately, the decision should be made in consultation with an experienced orthodontist, who can recommend the best treatment plan based on the child’s individual needs.

To find a children’s orthodontist near you, please refer to the list below.


Kids & Teen Dental Place - Glendale, Los Angeles, Van Nuys


Adventure Dental Vision and Orthodontics - Aurora, Denver, Commerce City, Greeley, Lakewood, Longmont

Academy Kids - Colorado Springs


Adventure Dental and Orthodontics - Baltimore

New Mexico

Adventure Dental Vision and Orthodontics - Albuquerque, Santa Fe


Pediatric Dental Group - Tulsa, Midwest City

Washington, DC

Adventure Dental and Orthodontics - DC

Leaders in providing high-quality and compassionate dental, vision, and orthodontic services to underserved children. Our providers are general dentists who treat pediatric patients.

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