Orthodontic Treatment for Adults

Orthodontic treatment is not for just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance.

Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment:

  • A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
  • Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly leading to tooth decay or gum disease
  • Abnormal jaw pain or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
  • Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile

The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:

The main difference between treating adults and children or teens is that the jawbones of younger patients are still developing. Other differences include:

  • Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
  • Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.

Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven.

Early treatment (also known as Phase One) typically begins around age eight or nine (Phase Two will begin around age 11 or older). The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Your child continues sucking his or her thumb after age five
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Teeth that don't come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (crossbites)
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

What causes orthodontic problems, and how will early treatment benefit my child?

Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.

Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future.

If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.


Our locations

368 Lake Street S. Suite 131, Forest Lake, MN 55025 | 2215 Vine Street, Suite B, Hudson, WI 54016

Hours of Operation

days vary between locations, please contact office for details.

Monday:

7:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "I just had my braces put on my upper teeth today and Nancy did a great job! I was a little nervous going in but right away everyone there made me feel welcome and comfortable. It didn't take very long at all and it didn't hurt. Nancy explained everything she was doing and was super nice. Everyone at Ross Orthodontics are VERY nice and friendly. I am very happy that we chose to go there."
    Logan M.
  • "So Grateful!! I can not thank Dr Ross & his associates enough! Straightened out my bite & teeth has changed my confidence. I smile with freedom instead of covering my mouth or keeping my lips pursed. I feel so much more beautiful & sexy. My husband loves how much I smile now too. Thank you for being so particular."
    Jeanette S.
  • "Excellent Service! Love the laid-back atmosphere with excellent service! We had consults at 2 other places before coming to Ross Orthodontics, and my daughter did not feel comfortable. I appreciate the smiling faces and the quick responses to questions and the convenient scheduling of appointments. We aren't quite through the process, but so far so good."
    Jennifer M.