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Teens with braces, clear aligners and Invisalign orthodontic treatment


Clear Aligners or Braces: Which to Choose for Your Teen?


At ARO we are all about people, smiles and confidence. That’s why we offer options - every person and every smile is unique…and everyone’s confidence relies on different factors. We know that when it comes to straightening smiles, traditional braces are what might first come to mind. Yet we, at ARO, have also seen excellent results with clear aligners like Invisalign and Spark. In this post, we will discuss our perspective as well as the merits and drawbacks of each treatment.


Traditional Braces


In the past, traditional braces have been the only option to correct issues like crowding, spacing, overbite or underbite. Brackets cemented to the face of the tooth hold a wire that runs lengthwise to apply pressure, moving teeth into place with ties that secure wires to the brackets. A patient sees slight changes over time as the orthodontist makes adjustments every eight to ten weeks.


Clear Aligners


Aligner therapy uses clear BPA-free plastic appliances that offer patients an alternative to traditional metal, or even ceramic braces. Your orthodontist takes a digital scan of the teeth, creating a 3D image that’s used to produce a series of trays (aligners) made from a clear material worn by the patient almost all day (they should only be taken out to eat and brush/floss). Each aligner is configured to adjust the teeth according to a predetermined treatment plan mapped out by the orthodontist.




Traditional Braces

- Tried and true technology

- Office visits every eight to ten weeks

- Compliance is virtually guaranteed as there are no decisions about whether to wear or not to wear them


Clear Aligners

- Virtually invisible for aesthetic appeal

- Office visits can often be spread out over fewer appointments

- No limitations regarding food or oral hygiene

- Most patients are candidates




Traditional Braces

- Metal (or even ceramic) brackets and wires are visible

- Discomfort from poking wires or brackets that rub the inner portion of the lips

- Broken brackets that cause extra repair appointments 

- Oral hygiene more challenging


Clear Aligners

- Compliance can sometimes be a challenge, especially with younger patients

- Lost aligners can delay total treatment time

- Must watch certain foods and beverages high in sugar/acid


What’s right for you


The decision to opt for clear aligners over braces can be a difficult one and there are many factors to consider for both the patient and orthodontist. Clear aligners allow for more freedom and are virtually invisible compared to braces, but compliance is key regarding successful results. Further, clear aligners may not be the best option for everyone.


Before making your decision, remember there are trade-offs with each treatment, and you will need to consult with an orthodontist, like Dr. Mark Fiss, to determine the most effective option to perfect your smile! Our goal is for you and your teen to smile and feel confident throughout treatment as well as with their finished smile. At ARO we offer complimentary consultations, so there’s no risk in exploring your options with us. Click below to get started! 

Or call us at (302) 239-4600 

We offer bilingual services at all offices for your convenience! 

4901 Limestone Rd., Wilmington, DE 19808

2005 Concord Pike, Ste 201, Wilmington, DE 19803 

42 Hiawatha Lane,, Dover, DE 19904 



Seventh Birthday Approaching? Time For a Visit to the Orthodontist!


Many parents associate braces and orthodontics with their teen years but you may be surprised to learn that the best time for your little one to have their first orthodontic visit is around their 7th birthday. We know, we know - they’re still running around the jungle gym and definitely not exhibiting any tween behavior (at least we hope not for your sake!). That said, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends children be seen by an orthodontist at the age of seven and we at Alpine and Rafetto Orthodontics absolutely agree. 


Why by age seven?


By age 7, your child’s mouth has matured enough for a trained orthodontic eye to spot current and future issues. We can then make corrections that will help guide their jaw and teeth into a healthier place for an easier straight smile later on. 


There are many benefits to starting orthodontic treatment as a child; these include shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth, and a reduced chance of needing to remove teeth. That’s because with early orthodontics we can:


- Guide teeth into desired positions early 

- Guide jaw growth

- Minimize crowding/creating room for erupting teeth

- Correct the results of oral habits like thumb and finger sucking 


Who to trust with your child’s smile? 


There are many different options when looking to begin your child’s smile journey. All these options might leave you wondering who to turn to. The answer is simple: You should take your child to see a certified orthodontist. The doctors at Alpine and Rafetto Orthodontics have devoted additional years after their general dental education, to exclusively study orthodontics - because moving the bones in a child’s face is a complicated endeavor. When it comes to your child’s smile, you should trust an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Fiss.


At ARO, our doctors think of early orthodontics as a two-phase solution. 


- Phase 1 works with your young child to make space for his or her permanent teeth. 

- Phase 2 begins once those teeth have arrived. 


If you recommend early orthodontics for my child, does that mean they won’t need braces as a teen? 


Early treatment (phase 1) can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent additional problems from developing, and simplify future treatment, but oftentimes, additional treatment is still necessary. That said, children who have undergone early orthodontic treatment typically wear braces or Invisalign for a shorter period of time in the teen years than those who have not undergone early intervention. This makes life easier for both them and you, as both of your schedules get busier and busier.


If I bring my child to you at age 7 are you definitely going to recommend early orthodontics? 


Nope! Every child is different and we customize every treatment plan to the individual. Early treatment does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all permanent teeth have come in; some skeletal orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or complete. Our team will develop a customized treatment plan based on each individual child’s needs.


In order to create a custom treatment plan for your child, we need to see you! Click below to schedule a complimentary consultation with us. We can’t wait to meet you and your seven-year-old! 


We offer bilingual services at all offices for your convenience! 

4901 Limestone Rd., Wilmington, DE 19808 | (302) 239-4600 |

2005 Concord Pike, Ste 201, Wilmington, DE 19803 | (302) 425-4800

2 Hiawatha Lane, Dover, DE 19904 |  (302) 672-7776



A Diamond Invisalign Provider Is a Mom's Best Friend

A diamond is a girl's best friend, right? Well, we think a Diamond Level Invisalign Provider is a mom’s best friend. Why? Knowing that your orthodontist has achieved the highest levels of experience means that you or your child are getting the benefit of that expertise. 

What is a Diamond Level Invisalign Provider?  A practice achieves Diamond level status when Invisalign considers them in the top 1% of providers in the country. They’ve seen and treated more cases, more complex cases, and achieved excellent results. 

At Alpine and Rafetto Orthodontics we are thrilled to be in this category of Invisalign Providers. Dr. Fiss has treated thousands of cases with Invisalign and Invisalign Teen with excellent results. 

Why Invisalign? Invisalign treatment offers clear aligners for more comfort, faster treatment times, and easier dental hygiene. The results are fantastic and we couldn’t be more pleased with the confident smiles we get so see along the smile journey and (most importantly) once that journey is complete. 

Who is a candidate for Invisalign Treatment? Honestly? Just about every patient we see come through our doors. If you’re hoping for clear aligner treatment, you’ve come to the right place. Being a Diamond Invisalign provider means we have experience treating just about every type of scenario from the simple to the complex and have achieved great smiles for our patients - that goes for kids, teens and adults. 

How do I get started?  Simple! Click below and we will get you scheduled for a complimentary consultation. If you’d like to go the virtual route, we’ll start by asking you for a few specific photos of your teeth. From there we can get a general sense of what your treatment plan will look like and can answer any questions you have before coming in for 3D x-rays and scans. Or, if you’d like to skip that first bit, just contact us and say you’d like to schedule an in-person consultation - then we’ll answer questions and take scans right then and there at your first appointment. 

Ready to be our best friend? Click below to schedule that complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to meet you! 

Click below to schedule a complimentary consultation at ARO today! 

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