Orthodontic treatment is actually for patients of all ages, even though we often think of tweens and teens when we talk about braces. About 25% of current orthodontic patients are adults and the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends a child have their first orthodontic evaluation before the age of seven, proving that there is no age limit on improving oral health! Kottemann Orthodontics produces beautifully aligned smiles for children, teens, and adults alike through quality orthodontic care.

We have got you covered whether you are looking for orthodontics for you as an adult, information on interceptive treatment for your child, or braces for your teen. We have put together this guide to orthodontics for all ages to provide you with more information on what we have to offer each age range.

Children’s Orthodontics

While there is no exact minimum age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the AAO recommends children receive their first orthodontic evaluation by around the age of seven. Most children have a mix of both primary teeth and permanent teeth by this age which makes it easier for experienced orthodontists like Dr. Kottemann to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems early. If we can catch the problems before they get too severe, it will keep them from requiring more serious treatment later on in life. Early treatment allows us to help improve minor speech problems. It can create more space for crowded teeth and help permanent teeth come in straight by correcting and guiding the growth of a child’s jaw. We can regulate the width of the upper and lower arches and correct bad habits like thumb or finger sucking. Interceptive treatment will help avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life

Your child may need orthodontic treatment but often you would not know it just by looking at them. Many dental issues are not visible on the surface which makes outward appearances deceiving. We will be checking for several potential problems that could indicate a need for treatment during your child’s initial orthodontic evaluation with us, like jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face. We will look for crowded front teeth and the loss of baby teeth earlier or later than normal. We need to know if they have difficulties with chewing or biting food and if they suck their thumbs or fingers. Do they have crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth? Do they have jaws that pop or make sounds when opening or closing, and do their teeth come together abnormally or not at all?

The first step in giving your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future is scheduling their first orthodontic exam with us.  

Teenage Orthodontics

You are likely to have a lot of questions and concerns if you suspect your teen may be in need of corrective orthodontic treatment. Your teen may be feeling worried when considering braces and you may be feeling nervous. Let Kottemann Orthodontics set your mind at ease by showing you and your teen how the bulky, awkward metal braces of the past evolved into the smaller, sleeker, and far more comfortable braces of today. There is a wide variety of styles, materials, and colors available for your teen to show off their personality with.

Young woman with clear braces

Adult Orthodontics

As we get older, we better understand the importance of maintaining oral health, and want to feel better about our overall appearance which is why it is becoming more and more common for adults to seek out orthodontic treatment later in life. Adults are able to take advantage of discreet but effective ways to straighten smiles thanks to more modern treatment options like clear braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign.

There are many different reasons we see adult patients seeking orthodontic treatment, but some of the most common are their desire for a healthier mouth, straighter teeth, and a more confident smile. They also might feel that their teeth are too crowded, or spaced too far apart. They may suffer from a bad bite that causes their teeth to fit together incorrectly, or they may have abnormal jaw pain or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth.

Orthodontics at Different Ages

The jawbones are still developing in children and teens which makes less invasive treatment more likely to be successful. But treating adults can be different because their bones have stopped growing, which means they may possibly need orthognathic surgery to align their jawbones. Gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease are more likely to occur in adults rather than children, which can cause gum recession and bone loss. Gums disease is much less likely to occur in patients with straighter teeth.

Teeth can become worn down over time and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. A bad bite and the increased possibility of gum disease are caused by missing teeth that cause other teeth to shift and tilt. Many adults suffered from incomplete orthodontic care as children and teens because they never completed the process, or they did not wear their retainer as directed after completing treatment. Teeth that were straightened are likely to have shifted over the years. The completion or redo of their orthodontic treatment  helps them to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they have always wanted.

Kottemann Staff

Adults and children have different orthodontic needs that require different levels of attention and care, and Kottemann Orthodontics recognizes this. We will work closely with you to ensure you or your child receive the most appropriate treatments based on the particular needs of the case. You will be met with understanding and respect throughout the treatment process by our team. Whether you are seven or seventy, we are all about putting patients first. If you are in in Orono, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Watertown, Chaska, or the surrounding areas, get in touch with any of our conveniently located offices to schedule an initial consultation and to find out more information on what orthodontics have to offer you and your family!