adolescent treatmentWest Orthodontics proudly serves all age—after all, everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile. That being said, adolescent treatment is an optimal time to get orthodontic treatment as the teeth, gums, and mouth are still growing and forming. Adolescent treatment is performed while a child is between the ages of 11 to 18. While those undergoing treatment at an earlier age (as young as seven) will undergo early treatment, usually as a limited Phase 1 segment, and those over 18 will undergo adult treatment, age 11-20 is essentially the ‘sweet spot’ of orthodontic treatment when much is accomplished in the most efficient way.

Why Adolescence Is the Perfect Time for Orthodontic Treatment

By the age of 13, most adolescents will have lost all their primary teeth and their permanent teeth have come in. This is an excellent time for us to begin orthodontic treatment and fix any orthodontic problems, such as a bad bite, poor alignment, or tooth spacing problems. It’s also a good idea to perform treatment at this time because orthodontic problems don’t improve with age – they only get harder to treat and more expensive as well.

Benefits of Adolescent Treatment

Some of the reasons why adolescence is the perfect time for orthodontic treatment include the following:

  • A teenager’s jaw and face are still developing, making it much easier to treat orthodontic problems.
  • It will also cost less to treat orthodontic problems at this age.
  • The procedure will be quicker because the adolescent has a higher metabolism and therefore usually a faster rate of tooth movement
  • There’s no negative stigma about wearing braces at this age because plenty of an adolescent’s peers will be wearing braces too.

Our Orthodontic Treatment Options

When you first come into our beautiful DeWitt, MI office, we’ll take pictures and x-rays of your mouth and possibly even make a model out of your bite. After this is done, Dr. West will do a thorough evaluation of your teeth and jaws, then we’ll develop an orthodontic treatment plan that will best suit your needs. Here are some of the most popular treatments that we’re likely to use.

Metal Braces 

These are the most common form of orthodontic treatment appliances. They achieved their popularity for good reason – they’re an effective, affordable, and time-tested method of moving teeth. Modern metal braces are now even more improved by being smaller and lighter than ever.

Clear Braces 

Clear braces are very similar to metal braces, but with one major difference – remove these braces are made of a ceramic material, granting a patient a much more discreet form of orthodontic treatment. If you’re interested in braces, but you’re worried about how you’ll look in them, clear braces may be a great option for you.

Lingual Braces 

While clear braces offer a discreet form of orthodontic treatment, lingual braces offer an invisible form of treatment! While those metal and clear braces are placed on the outsides of the teeth, lingual braces are placed on the interior part of the teeth where they can’t be seen by others.


Instead of using brackets and wires to shift teeth, Invisalign utilizes plastic aligners. Like their name suggests, these aligners are made of a clear, polyurethane plastic that will offer a nearly invisible form of treatment. Also, unlike the other options that are fixed into a patient’s mouth, Invisalign is removable and only needs to be worn for about 22 hours a day. This means that you can take them out for eating, brushing, and special occasions.

How Long Will the Treatment Last?

Unfortunately, there’s really no general answer to this question – it entirely depends on the individual. Typically, the active stage of orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from six to 30 months. Each patient will get a personalized treatment plan from Dr. Kristine West, which will provide you with an estimate for how long treatment will last. After that, you’ll need to wear a retainer for another period of time in order to help maintain your new and improved smile.

Visit Your Lansing, Meridian Township, and DeWitt, MI Orthodontist Today!

If you have any questions or concerns about adolescent treatment or our treatment options, please feel free to contact us. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, you can give us a call at (517) 507-3001. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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