Adolescence (ages 10-19) is the best time for orthodontic treatment, however in some cases an earlier intervention is recommended. Generally, most of the permanent teeth are in by (10-13) years of age. Once all adult teeth are present, we can start aligning the teeth and improving the bite and smile.
The need for orthodontic care does not improve over time. As we age, crowding increases, we can start to see gums recede and other issues that were once minor become more pronounced and complex. It is easier to treat many orthodontic conditions during adolescence because the body is still in a stage of rapid growth. When we combine orthodontics and appliances like palatal expanders, we create dental stability within the bone and arrive at an attractive result. If we wait until patients are older, the bones of the face and jaw are more fully developed, and many conditions become more challenging to treat which may result in extended treatment time.
Metal Braces. Metal braces today are lighter and smaller than ever. We offer every color elastic and or elastic color combination you can imagine. You can even choose different colors at each appointment.
Clear Aligners. Invisalign for adolescent and adult patients is becoming more and more popular. It is a great option for some orthodontic cases because it reduces the number of visits to the office and away from school, there is no longer a concern about broken brackets and poking wires, and oral home care is easier with a removable tray. However, Invisalign only works if it is worn 22 hours a day. We find that our teenage Invisalign patients are very committed to their overall treatment success and are typically very compliant.
How Long Will Treatment Last?
The length of orthodontic treatment varies widely based on tooth movement goals, growth, treatment compliance, and complexity of your orthodontic treatment. We will address your predicted treatment time at your initial consultation.
When appliances are removed, we will give you a set of upper and lower retainers. These will be worn full time for the first 3-6 months, then you will switch to wearing them only at night or while you sleep. These retainers protect your teeth and help prevent your teeth from moving.