Orthodontic Treatment Options - Authentic Orthodontics
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Why choose orthodontic treatment?

While many patients choose orthodontic treatment because they are looking for a beautiful smile, it is not the only reason patients come to us. Dr. French and Dr. Olsen are experts in helping patients achieve their healthiest smiles. Properly aligned teeth allow patients to brush and floss well, to have less pain from uneven teeth and jaws, and to feel more confident each day. 

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For Kids

When should my child first visit the orthodontist?

Dr. French and Dr. Olsen are happy to help patients at any age; however, there is a recommended age to first bring children into the office. The American Association of Orthodontists' advice is to bring a child in as early as 7 years old. This may seem early, but this is an optimal time for our staff to note small issues that can turn into larger problems down the road. Identifying issues with jaw growth and emerging teeth gives us an idea of when to begin orthodontic care. Even if baby teeth are still present, your orthodontist can see problems that you may not know to look for yourself. 

 

Why should children have early orthodontic evaluations?

When your child is evaluated early by their orthodontist, it allows for more effective, less complex, and faster treatment down the road. Identifying issues with jaw growth and emerging teeth gives us an idea of when to begin orthodontic care, and how long the care may last. By coming into our office at an early age, your child will be carefully monitored for any problems, and we will create a plan to begin treatment at the right time. 

Why is age 7 the best time to come to the orthodontist?

While it may seem early, age 7 is the time when the first adult molars erupt and the back bite is established. With the back bite in its natural place, your orthodontist can check the full scope of your child's smile. Assessing the mouth from all angles allows your orthodontist to see tooth and jaw alignment, especially any areas that are troublesome. By the age of 13, most children lose all their baby teeth; by the end of their teen years, their jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Because their teeth and jaws change so rapidly and permanently during these years, it makes orthodontic care a little more difficult for adults. Kids who receive early orthodontic treatment have less of a need for orthodontics, surgery, or extractions as an adult.


You can't always see when your child has an orthodontic problem.

While some orthodontic issues are apparent, some problems can go undetected. Here are some hints that your child may need orthodontic care:

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back

For Teens

Braces for teens have become a huge milestone for teens and their parents alike. However, many styles of braces today have changed the way we think about getting braces as a teen. With a variety of styles and materials to choose from, teens can adapt to life with braces much more easily than in the past.

It is most common for teens to begin their orthodontic treatment between the ages of 11 and 15. By  the age of 12, most, if not all, of the permanent teeth are in place, making it easier to detect crooked teeth, gaps, and bad bites.

Unfortunately, these problems hardly ever correct themselves – they simply become more difficult to treat. Many orthodontic problems are easier to treat during adolescence since the body is still growing and changing so quickly. By making changes to a teen's smile while he or she is still growing, these changes are easier to make and to maintain in the future. 

How long does orthodontic treatment for teens last?

Since every patient is unique, there's no one answer. Dr. French and Dr. Olsen will make a treatment plan with an estimated length when you come in for your initial evaluation. But in the end, the amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:

 

  • Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. By visiting our office at a younger age, your orthodontist can spot any major problems and make a plan to fix them early and quickly. 
  • Level of treatment needed — Depending on the severity of a problem, it can determine how long the process will take. Also, patients react to various treatments in various ways. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete their treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Talk to Dr. French or Dr. Olsen to see what kind of timeline your teen can expect. 
  • Your teen — Your teen's willingness to use and care for the appliances your orthodontist prescribes plays a huge role. For shorter treatments with better results, your teen can make all the difference in caring for his or her smile.  

When orthodontic treatment is complete, your teen's smile will last a lifetime. 


For Adults

There is no time like the present to get your dream smile! Many adults are turning to orthodontics to not only improve their smile, but to improve their health and boost their confidence. If you have healthy gums and bone structure, tooth alignment can be changed at any age – there's no such thing as "too old for braces." 

Orthodontic treatment for adults can significantly improve your appearance, health, mood, and self-esteem. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, abnormal wearing down of teeth, and jaw joint pain (TMJ/TMD) or headaches. The latest technology for braces reduces discomfort levels, decreases the frequency of visits, and shortens treatment time. Plus, you may have more options for straightening your smile, choosing from metal braces, translucent braces, or transparent aligners.

 

Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
  • Health — Properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems
  • Confidence — Orthodontic treatment helps to give you a better quality of life and higher levels of self-esteem
  • Prevention — Stay ahead of dental troubles that can cost more money and take longer to fix later in life