Invisalign® or Traditional Braces: Which Is Best for Your Teen?

Invisalign® or Traditional Braces: Which Is Best for Your Teen?

The struggle is real and age-old — your kid needs orthodontic care to correct crooked teeth or a bad bite, but they’re protesting the brace-face look. These days, they have a choice of a different approach, and so do you. 

It’s called Invisalign®, and it’s the most innovative orthodontic treatment to hit the scene for many years. But does it work? What are the pros and cons? Are braces better? 

We get these questions all the time here at OK Tooth. That’s why our team of specialists has compiled this guide to help you compare traditional braces and Invisalign Teen®, so you can make the best decision for your teen and your family.

Pros and cons of braces

Metal braces are the tried-and-true treatment for realigning teeth and correcting bad bites. To get the job done, brackets are bonded to individual teeth and are connected with wires and rubber bands. Tightening the wires gradually moves your teeth into the desired position.

These days, there are also ceramic and clear versions of braces that are less visually obtrusive, but they’re still permanently attached to the teeth. 



Braces are an excellent way to straighten a crooked smile, and in some severe cases, they’re the only way. But if your teen is clamoring for an alternative, Invisalign gives braces a run for their money.

Pros and cons of Invisalign

Rather than brackets bonded to your teeth, Invisalign Teen uses a series of clear plastic trays to bring your teen’s teeth into the correct position. Like braces, the trays apply pressure, gently forcing the teeth to shift over time, but instead of tightening wires at regular intervals, Invisalign Teen uses a successive set of trays that build upon the progress of the previous set.

Your teen receives the full series of trays at the beginning based on a customized treatment plan we design for them. Every two weeks or so, your teen simply moves to the next set in the series until the treatment is complete.



To keep treatment on track, Invisalign trays must be worn for at least 22 hours a day. They only work if your child is capable of and willing to comply with that rule. When the trays aren’t in their mouth, they should be kept in a protective case, not tossed into a backpack, purse, or gym bag where they can be broken or lost.

Which is better?

Now that you know the facts, it’s clear that the choice is largely personal. Both braces and Invisalign are extremely effective. There are only a few circumstances under which Invisalign is not a viable option, so the choice is really up to you and your teen.

Consider whether your child is responsible enough to wear  Invisalign trays for at least 22 hours a day, remove them when they eat and drink, and care for them and their teeth properly throughout treatment. If not, braces might be a better bet.

To learn more about Invisalign and the best way to care for your teen’s teeth, schedule a visit by calling the friendly staff at our office in Midtown Manhattan, New York, or requesting an appointment online today.

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