Teen Orthodontics

One smile can start a friendship.

At Decoteau Orthodontics, we find that the optimal time to begin orthodontic treatment is typically between the ages of 9 and 13. During this period, our bodies are still growing rapidly, our permanent teeth are nearly all in, and yet the bones of the face and jaws have not yet fully developed. In most cases, orthodontics at this time involves only one phase of treatment, and wearing braces results in an amazing new smile. Schedule your complimentary consult early to ensure that your finished smile is absolutely exceptional!

Malocclusions (crooked teeth) are acquired. In other words, they develop over time. They can be caused by thumb-sucking or finger-sucking as a child, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, the early or late loss of baby (primary) teeth, accidents, poor nutrition or certain medical problems.

Sometimes an inherited malocclusion is complicated by an acquired problem. But whatever the cause, the Drs. Jay and Carolyn Decoteau are usually able to treat these conditions successfully. Treatment is important because crooked or crowded teeth are hard to clean, and that may contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue, and possible jaw joint problems. Without treatment, these problems may become worse. Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the problems that can develop in later years.

In addition, there is an emotional toll that comes from hiding your smile. When you are not confident in the way you look, your self-esteem suffers. Teens whose malocclusions are left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscious, hiding their smiles with tight lips or a protective hand. This can quickly be remedied with orthodontic care.