Your Teen’s Guide to Braces & Invisalign

By the time you’re a teenager, you’re probably aware of any issues you have with how your teeth look. And want them fixed. Well, Deplanche Orthodontics is an excellent destination for adolescent patients looking for a straighter smile. Read on for your teen’s guide to braces and Invisalign!

When We Step In

A lot of times, an orthodontic diagnosis isn’t as simple as “crooked teeth.” There’s a whole host of issues that can constitute either braces or clear aligners.

  1. Crowded Teeth: Think of crowded teeth like a tiny, overpacked coffee shop – when there isn’t enough space in our jaws, it causes our teeth to lose their alignment. This can result in issues like overlapping, which poses challenges in terms of maintaining good oral hygiene.
  2. Aesthetic Concerns: Braces can also serve as a cosmetic enhancement. This can be true for teenage or adult patients, but the priority should always be health-related.
  3. Spacing Issues: Gaps or spaces can develop between our teeth naturally. Braces and aligners are used to close these gaps and achieve a more uniform appearance.
  4. Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to incorrect alignment of teeth or alignment between the upper and lower jaws. This can take the form of an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, causing functional and aesthetic difficulties.
  5. Jaw Problems: Orthodontic treatment can also address jaw misalignment, which may lead to problems like TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder.
  6. Oral Health: Straight teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Aligners or braces can be a preventive measure for long-term oral health.

Braces: Timeless and Effective

Traditional braces have many benefits, and we offer a couple of different types. The choice usually comes down to preference and price. The components of braces apply pressure to your teeth over time, adjusting them into their new positions as planned out by your orthodontist.

  • Metal braces are usually our go-to option for young kids. Still, they are equally reliable for teenagers, with an average duration of around 18-22 months (this can vary based on individual treatment). We specifically use 3M Mini Metal Braces—which are renowned for being both easier to clean and less irritating to your mouth than other options on the market.
  • Clear braces (aka ceramic braces) are as effective as metal braces. Still, the components will match the color of your teeth much better than metal brackets, using a polycrystalline ceramic material. The brackets on this variety are smaller than metal braces, which helps with comfort, and they’re also stain-resistant, which is a huge bonus!


Your Teen's Guide to Braces & Invisalign

Advantages of Braces

Consulting with Dr. Deplanche will determine the best option for your teen, but here are some benefits of braces you can consider going in:

  • Customization: Braces can be customized to address specific dental problems and adjusted throughout treatment as necessary.
  • Durability: Braces are bonded to the teeth, so there’s no risk of patients losing or misplacing them. They work 24/7, which can lead to faster treatment results.
  • Cost: Traditional braces are often more cost-effective than Invisalign, making them an attractive option for individuals on a budget.

Invisalign: Subtle and Seamless

Invisalign Teen is a set of clear, removable aligners made from BPA-free plastic. This process begins with a 3D scan of the patient’s smile. Each tooth can be carefully mapped out through this technology, ensuring a thorough treatment plan. Orthodontists must be trained and certified for Invisalign Teen, and Dr. Deplanche is!

When a teenager receives their aligners, they wear them for about 20-22 hours a day, shifting to a new set every 1-2 weeks until they are corrected. The overall duration of treatment can vary but will usually be on par with the length of traditional braces. One unique element that makes the teen version special is that it has tabs that adjust to an adolescent’s erupting molars.

Benefits of Invisalign 

There are a number of advantages to consider when discussing this treatment with our team. 

  • Comfortability: Again, these aligners are removable. They can come out in uncomfortable or risky situations. On top of that, though, they are custom-fitted down to the extreme detail of the wearer’s mouth.
  • Eating is Easy: Since Invisalign is removable, you can avoid a lot of the normal dietary limitations that come with traditional braces. Simply take out your aligner before eating—but don’t forget that cleaning is key to any orthodontic appliance!
  • Maintenance is Convenient: These aligners are also taken out when brushing and flossing, allowing for thorough cleaning. They’re also less invasive, meaning fewer office visits.
  • Replacement Aligners: If a patient happens to lose their aligner, Invisalign Teen offers six free replacements as part of their system!

Your Teen's Guide to Braces & Invisalign

Delplanche Orthodontics Hearts Teens!

Being a teenager can be a tough time, with a whole lot going on at once. Orthodontic treatments should be as easy and free of stress as possible—and with the help of our professional team, it’s a promise we can keep. Contact our Beaverton office at (503) 966-4601 or our Lake Oswego office at 503-699-6569 if you think braces or Invisalign Teen could be a good option for your child, and schedule a free consultation today!