Generally, around the ages of 11 – 13, most adolescents will have lost all of their baby (deciduous) teeth, and almost all permanent teeth will have come in. This is an ideal time to begin fixing bite, spacing, and positioning issues in their smiles in order to ensure a more appealing appearance and restored functionality. At Ashcraft Orthodontics, skilled orthodontist Dr. Michael Ashcraft and his team provide adolescent orthodontic treatments to allow for a fully rejuvenated smile before future issues develop, making it more difficult to achieve optimal results. Following a thorough smile evaluation, he will be able to offer a customized treatment plan to enhance your child’s smile. To learn more, contact our practice in Little Rock or Jacksonville, AR to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Ashcraft.
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The best candidates for adolescent orthodontic treatment are patients around the ages of 11 – 13 who are exhibiting issues with their bite and the spacing of their teeth. There are many factors that make adolescence a good time to begin orthodontic treatment. A major one has to do with the loss of all baby teeth and the development of permanent teeth. When all permanent teeth have largely come in, Dr. Ashcraft can begin to fix the issue that may have led to a bad bite (malocclusion), abnormal tooth spacing, or problems with alignment.
What to Expect
During your adolescent child’s first visit to our practice, Dr. Ashcraft and his team will begin by taking images and digital x-rays of their mouth. A digital or physical impression may also be taken in order to create a mold of their current smile. Dr. Ashcraft will then create a comprehensive treatment plan to improve your child’s smile. Some common orthodontic treatments include:
- Traditional metal braces: A very popular orthodontic appliance that includes brackets that are adhered to the teeth and a metal wire that is threaded through them in order to shift the teeth
- Clear braces: This appliance is similar to metal braces except that the brackets are made of clear ceramic or composite material in order to seamlessly blend with your natural teeth
- Clear aligners (for teens): These are a series of clear, removable trays that will begin to shift the teeth over time, and they typically need to be worn for about 22 hours per day
- Additional appliances: In some cases, major jaw or tooth movement may be needed. In order to do so, additional small oral appliances (like a fixed retainer) or external headgear may need to be worn.
Most orthodontic treatments will require several visits to our practice for adjustments and to monitor progress. The total amount of time that an orthodontic appliance will need to be worn will vary from patient to patient, depending on the starting condition of their teeth. Throughout orthodontic treatment, it is important that your child sticks to a proper at-home oral hygiene routine that consists of regular brushing and flossing. They should also continue to attend annual dental cleanings and examinations. Additionally, once the orthodontic appliances are removed or no longer needed, a retainer will be necessary to help maintain your child’s new smile. During your appointments, Dr. Ashcraft will be able to provide you with all prevalent information and can answer any questions you may have regarding treatment.
Depending on your insurance provider, some or all of your child’s orthodontic treatment may be covered. After a thorough consultation, Dr. Ashcraft will be able to better provide you with an accurate estimate of your out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, our financial team can provide you with information on your payment options and financial planning.
A Straighter Smile
Since they have typically lost all of their baby teeth and have developed most of their permanent teeth, adolescents are excellent candidates for orthodontic treatment. In order to improve the appearance and functionality of his patients’ smiles, Dr. Ashcraft offers a variety of orthodontic procedures, depending on each individual’s needs and goals. Contact Ashcraft Orthodontics in Little Rock or Jacksonville, AR to schedule your initial consultation for a more confident, healthier smile.