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Invisalign® Aligners vs Braces for Sports

This post about Invisalign® aligners vs braces is sponsored by the Invisalign brand and all opinions are my own.

Zoë smiling wearing Invisalign aligners while snowboarding down the mountain

We finally got our first big snow of the season in the mountains! It’s something the entire family has been looking forward to all summer and fall… time to snowboard!

The girls got their new snowboards and immediately hit the slopes! Since Zoë has Invisalign aligners, we’ve been talking with other parents about Invisalign treatment vs. braces for active kids like ours. There are so many kids in her age group that are ready for orthodontic treatment, and many people are curious about our experience with Invisalign clear aligners.

I’ll let Zoë share her Invisalign treatment review with you as a snowboarder in this video! Then I’ll share the answers to some of the top questions about Invisalign treatment that we’ve heard.

Isn’t Zoë’s smile beautiful?! Everyone who sees her for the first time since she started treatment comments on her smile.

Of course, the compliments always spark a discussion about our experience with Invisalign treatment. If you’re considering aligners for your active kid, here are some of the questions we’ve been getting from other sports parents.

How Much is Invisalign Treatment?

Everything comes down to cost, right? Most often, the cost of Invisalign treatment is very comparable to that of braces.

You can pay out of pocket, but you may also be wondering does insurance cover Invisalign treatment? You’ll need to check with your provider, but many dental insurance companies do cover Invisalign aligners and often times they will cover up to $3,500 (or roughly 50%) of the cost… so it’s worth checking into.

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

It really varies based upon your child’s individual orthodontic needs.

Since Zoë had an overbite and crossbite that needed to be corrected, her treatment will be a bit on the longer side. She started treatment in June 2019 and we’re now in December 2019.

Before and after Invisalign treatment

How Does Invisalign Treatment Work for Overbites?

If you’re wondering if Invisalign aligners can fix an overbite, the answer is yes. This point was really important to us since Zoë had such a severe overbite that her bottom teeth would dig into the roof of her mouth.

We’ve also been asked how Invisalign aligners work to correct overbites since they’re “just plastic trays.” Invisalign aligners use little tooth-colored buttons called SmartForce® attachments on the teeth to grip onto and move teeth into position.

Her treatment isn’t even over yet but her teeth no longer dig into the roof of her mouth! She is on weekly aligner changes, so her treatment has been moving along quickly.

That’s because her Invisalign aligners are made with SmartTrack® material, which is designed to fit better, be more comfortable and provide more predictable tooth movement (compared to aligners made from off-the-shelf, single layer .030in material).

Zoë pulling her Invisalign case out of her snowboarind jacket pocket

Does Invisalign Treatment Hurt?

This question is one we hear often, especially since braces are known to be uncomfortable. I can personally vouch for braces being painful!

According to Zoë, her aligners hurt for a little bit each week when she changes them out. Her teeth shift quickly and the pain subsides equally as fast. They’re not pain free by any means, but it doesn’t seem like she’s in nearly as much pain as I was as a teen with braces.

She talked a little bit about pain levels during the first couple weeks in our post, What to Expect When Getting Your First Set of Invisalign Aligners.

What’s the Best Invisalign Treatment Alternative?

I’ve been really surprised by how many times we’ve heard this question! I’m going to come right out and say that we wouldn’t consider using an alternative to Invisalign clear aligners. There are plenty of home treatment aligner brands on the market now, but I personally wouldn’t use any of them without an orthodontist’s guidance.

Here’s why… Our next door neighbor was a few months into her Invisalign treatment when she realized her bite was out of alignment. Her orthodontist caught it early, re-scanned her and corrected her treatment plan. Now she’s back on track.

We also had Zoë’s mouth re-scanned last month. Not because her treatment wasn’t going according to plan, but because she lost her last baby tooth and she needed new aligners that would fit the new tooth properly.

If you’re using an at-home aligner brand, you won’t have an orthodontist watching for these types of changes. And when you’re busy with sports like we are, it’s important to have someone looking out for things you may not even know you need to be looking out for!

When it’s time for Kaylee to get orthodontic treatment, we’ll be looking at Invisalign aligners for her too…. no alternatives for us.

Is Invisalign Treatment Worth It?

When I was a teen, I had braces and I played softball. I was always terrified of being hit in the face with a ball, and it made me more skittish on the field during that time than I should have been.

There was no question that Zoë needed orthodontic treatment. It was really important to us to choose what we felt was the safest orthodontic treatment for sports for her, especially since she spends 100+ days on the snow each year.

Fortunately, Zoë doesn’t have to worry about the same things I did with her Invisalign aligners. There is no metal like with braces, so there’s no risk of tearing a lip on a bracket or popping a wire.

I believe choosing Invisalign treatment vs. braces has helped Zoë have more confidence in her active lifestyle. She gets on her snowboard and rides without fear of what braces might do to her, and that’s pretty awesome.

Going over a jump on a snowboard

So I’d say absolutely yes, Invisalign treatment has been completely worth it for Zoë! So much so that we’ll be looking at it for Kaylee soon.

Is Invisalign Treatment Right for You?

Our experiences have shown us why Invisalign treatment is the most advanced clear aligner system on the market and reinforced why it’s a better choice than braces for us! If you have an active child in need of orthodontics, the next step is to take the free Smile Assessment for your child to see if Invisalign treatment is right for them and find an Invisalign provider near you for an initial consultation!

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