For Children & Adults

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It might surprise you to learn that the American Association of Orthodontics has recommended that your child receive his or her first orthodontic evaluation at the age of 7. Even though every child’s development is different, the first adult molars will usually begin to erupt around age 6. Once the adult molars have emerged, it’s possible for Dr. Renee Shepherd to evaluate your child’s basic tooth alignment. At this point it may be possible to determine if any future or immediate orthodontic treatment will be needed.

Why Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Important?

Treatment for common orthodontic problems usually begins between the ages of 9-14, once the baby teeth are gone and most of the adult teeth have erupted. However, there are a few orthodontic conditions that can be easier to treat if they’re caught sooner.

These conditions can include:

  • Severe crossbite – this is a condition in which the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. This problem can be addressed early with a device called a palatal expander. This will allow the upper jaw to widen gradually, fixing the problem.
  • Severe crowding – this condition is when the jaws are too small to fit all of the adult teeth. A palatal expander can be used to correct this problem, but tooth extraction may also be recommended.
  • Protruding teeth – when teeth protrude, especially front teeth, they can become much more prone to fractures and chipping. They may also be detrimental to a child’s confidence in their smile.
  • Severe underbite – this problem is caused by the lower jaw growing larger than the upper jaw, and can result in a serious bite problem.
There are many reasons that you might want to consider early orthodontic intervention for your child. In order to make an appointment for your child to visit the orthodontist, please contact Longmont Dental & Orthodontics, located in beautiful Longmont, CO.

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There are several reasons why adolescence is generally the best time for orthodontic treatment. One of these reasons is because of the development of the teeth. While each person’s mouth will develop at a different rate, most people will have lost all their baby teeth and have most of their adult teeth by the age of 11-13. This is the ideal time to get to work correcting the problems that cause an uneven bite, poor alignment, or improper tooth spacing.

Orthodontic problems only get more difficult to treat the older a person gets. Because the body is growing so much during adolescence, this makes it much easier to address orthodontic issues. Whether you’re receiving standard braces, or more specialized appliances like palatal expanders, we can improve your function and appearance in a relatively short amount of time. If you wait until you’re older to receive orthodontic treatment, many conditions can become more difficult to fix.

What Can I Expect During My Orthodontic Treatment Process

Your treatment will all depend on the type of orthodontic issue you’re experiencing and the severity of that issue. At your first appointment, X-Rays will be taken and molds will be made of your teeth so that Dr. Renee Shepherd can make a model of your bite. All of this information will be used to put together a treatment plan based on your own unique circumstances. Your treatment will last anywhere between 6-30 months. Once your braces come off, you’ll need to wear a dental retainer in order to maintain your straight, beautiful smile.

To discuss your treatment options with our skilled orthodontist, please contact Longmont Dental & Orthodontics, located in Longmont, CO.

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Our office has been seeing an increase in adult patients and it’s easy to figure out why. There have been so many advances in orthodontic appliances, and certain kinds of braces are now barely noticeable. The main wish for an adult orthodontic patient is for subtlety. We’re proud to offer many discreet choices for your orthodontic treatment.

Technically, there’s no such thing as being too old for braces. That being said, orthodontic treatment for adults is different in a few ways. First, the development of the jaws is complete in adults, so it’s more difficult to change the actual jaw structure than it would be in a growing child or adolescent. Second, periodontal (gum) disease is much more common in adults. Orthodontic treatment requires gentle force to be applied to the teeth so that they can shift in the surrounding bone. For this to happen, periodontal health is imperative. If your gum tissue is unhealthy during orthodontic treatment, you may experience bone loss. Because of this, gum disease will need to be treated before your orthodontic treatment begins.

How Does My Treatment Work?

All orthodontic appliances work the same way: by applying gentle, but constant force on your teeth in order to move them into proper alignment. But how we apply these forces can vary from case to case, especially as new techniques have become available in recent years. Some of the newer, less visible orthodontic appliances have been designed to blend into an adult's personal and professional lifestyle.

What To Expect After Treatment

It’s very important to wear a dental retainer after your orthodontic treatment is complete, no matter which type of appliance you choose. If you neglect this crucial step, your teeth will eventually drift back to their original positions. You will be instructed on how to retain your straight, beautiful smile so that it continues to make you look and feel great for years to come.

For more information on orthodontic treatment, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Renee Shepherd, please contact Longmont Dental & Orthodontics, located in Longmont, CO.