Kottemann Orthodontics believe in quality orthodontic care and beautifully aligned smiles for patients of all ages. We’re proud to offer a full range of orthodontics for children, teens, and adults at our offices in Orono, Watertown, Plymouth, Maple Grove, and Chaska.

Orthodontics for children

Though there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child have their first orthodontic evaluation by around the age of seven. At this age, most children will have a good mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, which makes it easier for our doctors to diagnose any potential tooth and jaw issues before they have the chance to become more serious. This kind of early, or interceptive, treatment gives us the opportunity to:

  • correct and guide the growth of the child’s jaw in order to help permanent teeth grow in straight
  • regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • create more space for crowded teeth
  • reduce or eliminate the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • correct thumb- or finger-sucking habits
  • help improve minor speech problems

Appearances can be deceiving, and it can be difficult for parents to know when or if a child needs to visit the orthodontist. There are, however, a few things you can be on the lookout for that could indicate the need for an evaluation with one of our doctors, such as:

  • losing teeth earlier or later than normal
  • difficulties with chewing or biting  
  • mouth breathing
  • finger or thumb-sucking
  • crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • jaws that make popping or other sounds when opening and closing
  • teeth that come together abnormally, or don’t come together at all
  • jaws and teeth that aren’t proportionate to the rest of the face
  • front teeth that are crowded from around age seven or eight

Early treatment gives your child the best chance for a healthy, beautiful smile for the future. Get in touch with us today to schedule your child’s orthodontic evaluation!   

Orthodontics for teens

If you have a teen that could benefit from orthodontic treatment, you’re likely to have a number of questions and concerns. You and your teen may both feel anxious about the time, commitment, and finances involved. Our team is here to set your mind at ease! Orthodontic treatment today is more comfortable and less obvious than in the past, and our accelerated treatment options can reduce treatment time by a significant amount for many patients.

While we can’t give teens a concrete answer on how long they will need to be in braces or wear an aligner, there are a few key factors that play a part in treatment time.

Early treatment—As we’ve already mentioned above, early treatment allows us to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if necessary. Not every child will need early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases, we may recommended a wait-and-see approach, or holding off until a patient is older before beginning treatment.

What it is that needs correction—The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Every patient will react to treatment in their own way, so treatment times will vary based on how well and how quickly the body responds, as well as how much work will need to be done overall to achieve optimal results.

Your teen—Teens play a big role in their treatment process. Compliance is important, as well as taking care of the appliances and maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine. Following our doctor’s instructions and recommendations, plus keeping teeth and gums healthy, will keep treatment times to a minimum.

Orthodontic treatment isn’t limited to traditional metal braces, anymore, though we do offer an updated version of these that are sleeker and more subtle than ever before. Along with metal braces, our practice offers ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, and clear aligners from the Invisalign system. There’s truly something to fit every lifestyle and personality!

Orthodontics for adults

It’s a common misconception that orthodontics only benefit children and teens. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is actually over the age of 21! As we get older, we tend to realize the importance of oral health in the bigger picture of our overall health, and it may also be the chance we’ve been waiting for to feel better about our appearance. Some of the biggest issues we see adults in our office for are:

  • a “bad” bite, or malocclusion, causing the teeth to fit together incorrectly
  • teeth that are crowded or spaced far apart, increasing the risk for tooth decay or gum disease
  • abnormal jaw pain
  • pressure caused by crooked teeth
  • the desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile!

Many adults are hesitant about having traditional metal braces, but many of today’s orthodontic options are comfortable, discreet, and customized to meet all your needs. Clear braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign offer nearly invisible straightening, while lingual braces are placed behind the teeth for a more traditional but less obvious option.

Here at Kottemann Orthodontics, we recognize that adults will have different orthodontic needs than children and teens, and will require a different level of attention and care. Our talented team will work with you and your family to ensure that you always receive the most appropriate treatments, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.