The teenage years are filled with a variety of life changes, from how kids look to what they wear and how they feel about themselves. Wearing braces as a teen seems almost to be a rite of passage, but it is also a prime time in a person’s life to correct orthodontic issues. By age 13, the baby teeth typically have all been lost and adult teeth have taken their place in the jaw. This can be the perfect time to correct bite issues, function, and appearance and create the lasting foundation needed for a bright and healthy smile.
As a skilled orthodontist serving Central Arkansas patients, Dr. Michael Ashcraft has nearly 30 years of providing orthodontic care to adolescents. Treatments for patients in this age bracket may include palatal expanders, traditional braces, or clear teeth aligners. Common problems that we correct include crowded, gapped, or crooked teeth, protruding teeth, and overbite, underbite, and crossbite, along with other concerns. Help your teen achieve a healthy, confident smile they can proudly show off to others. Contact Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock today to schedule a personalized treatment consultation.
"My son, who has oral sensory issues and is oral defensive, completed his step one of braces today. We talked all about steps this morning. He did so great!!! The staff put him at ease by carefully explaining everything and being very gentle. They did such an amazing job!! They were very patient, compassionate and caring. They explained every step and showed him everything they were going to do before they did it. That helped calm his anxiety tremendously. They are going to do... small steps to get him used to the process and not overwhelm him. We'll go back in 6 weeks to do another step. They were so careful with what materials they put in his mouth, the textures bother him orally, I just can't say enough about Dr. Ashcraft and his team!!! They were able to take something he normally would fear and turn it into something he enjoyed! They even came in early to be able to get more kids in and started before school starts!! He is SO excited about his braces, and looking forward to his next appointment!!"- M.M. / Facebook / Aug 05, 2019
"Y’all have the best staff! Even though I had to wait for a little while it was worth it!"- I.N. / Google / Jul 28, 2019
"I love the staff just all around great places"- D.K. / Google / Apr 28, 2019
"Always very professional and timely"- J.J. / Google / Mar 28, 2019
"We have been coming here for over 1 yr now. Never have had a problem. Staff is excellent, up beat environment!!!"- G.L. / Google / Mar 28, 2019
As patients age, orthodontic needs become more difficult to treat, though adults may still be good candidates for braces. Seeking the orthodontic movement of the teeth and jaw during the adolescent years is often an ideal treatment time as the body is still in a rapid phase of growth. This makes moving teeth and the jawbone easier to achieve in a shorter amount of time. In some cases, early orthodontic treatment during childhood may be necessary. However, many teenagers benefit from treatment at this stage in their lives.
Treatment with braces or other appliances during the adolescent years may be recommended to correct conditions, like:
- Overbite, crossbite, or underbite
- Openbite or protruding teeth
- Turned or rotated teeth
- Crowding of the teeth
- Spaces between teeth
- Crooked or misaligned teeth
What to Expect
Orthodontic care during the adolescent years may begin as early as age 11 or when there are no longer any baby teeth present in the mouth and the adult teeth have erupted. Our team will take a digital panoramic x-ray of your teen’s jaw and teeth along with impressions of the lower and upper arches. Using these diagnostic tools, Dr. Ashcraft will customize your teen’s unique treatment plan and review the options for care, which may include conventional metal or clear braces, clear teeth aligners, or other orthodontic appliances, like palatal expanders or headgear. Your teen’s active treatment phase may last anywhere from 6 – 30 months, depending on the extent of jaw misalignment, the malpositioning of teeth, and their overall orthodontic needs.
Keeping up with routine cleanings and exams at your teen's general dental office and excellent home care is very important to overall health, especially when your teen is wearing braces. Brackets, wires, bands, and other hardware provide numerous places for plaque, food, and bacteria to collect. Our team will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques and may recommend addition hygiene tools to motivate and assist your teen in taking good care of their smile on a daily basis. Without proper care, they may run an increased risk of developing gingivitis and tooth decay.
When the active phase of your teen's orthodontic care is complete, they will begin the retention portion of the treatment plan. We will take another set of impressions from which your teen's retainer will be made. Dr. Ashcraft will let your teen know when and for how long the retainer should be worn. This is also a very important stage in the orthodontic treatment plan as a retainer will help protect the time and money investment you have made in your teen's smile by keeping the teeth in their new ideal position.
Many dental insurance plans offer coverage for orthodontic care. Our team will contact your provider and review your teen’s benefits schedule. At Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock, we want our patients to have access to the care needed for a functional and beautiful smile. We accept several methods of payment, including our own in-house financing plan and CareCredit® payment plans, to make your family’s treatment affordable.
A Straighter Smile
Give your teen the benefits that only a straight and healthy smile can offer. Dr. Ashcraft is happy to help Little Rock, AR parents determine if orthodontics is ideal for correcting a range of dental concerns for their children during the adolescent years. Get in touch with our friendly team today to reserve your teen’s consultation at Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock.