Orthodontic Options For All Ages

Jun 29, 2018
Dr. Ed Grubaugh

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, most of us tend to have a certain image in mind, usually one involving a teenager in braces. So it may come as a surprise to learn that Grubaugh Orthodontics offer far more than braces, and treat children and adults, as well as tweens and teens. We believe everyone from 7 to 70 (and beyond!) deserve a beautifully aligned, fully functional smile and are proud to provide quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages.

To help you understand more about what we have to offer each age range, we have put together this guide to orthodontics for all ages. Whether you are wondering what early treatment for your child would entail, how braces could benefit your teen, if clear aligner therapy could work for you as an adult, or any combination of the above, we have got the answers to all your questions about how orthodontic treatment can give your whole family something to smile about!

Orthodontics for children

Although there is no exact minimum age for children to have their first orthodontic visit, the American Association of Orthodontists does recommend children have an initial orthodontic evaluation by the time they are about seven years old. We happen to agree! By this stage in life, most children will have a good mix of primary and permanent teeth, giving an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Grubaugh the chance to catch tooth and jaw problems early. In turn, he is often able to diagnose and correct these issues before they become severe enough to require more invasive treatment.

If Dr. Grubaugh believes there is a need for early treatment, he will work to create a customized plan that will address that patient’s specific dental problems. By providing this kind of interceptive treatment, we can:

  • correct and guide the growth of a child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • create more space for crowded teeth
  • correct bad habits like thumb or finger sucking
  • help improve some minor speech problems

It is hard for parents to assess a child’s need for orthodontic treatment by observing their outward appearance alone. Many orthodontic issues are visible only to the trained eye of a skilled orthodontist like Dr. Grubaugh. However, there are a few things to be aware of that could indicate your child may need orthodontic attention, including:

  • the early or late loss of baby teeth
  • having a difficult time with biting or chewing food
  • mouth breathing
  • finger or thumb sucking
  • crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • crowded front teeth from around the age of seven or eight

The first step in early treatment is scheduling an appointment for a child’s first orthodontic evaluation. Grubaugh Orthodontics is happy to offer a complimentary initial exam to all patients.

teen with braces

Orthodontics for teens

If you know that your teen is in need of corrective orthodontic treatment, or simply suspect they could benefit from it, it is not uncommon to have a number of questions and concerns. You and your teen may each be feeling nervous or unsure about braces treatment. We understand how overwhelming it can be to commit to orthodontic treatment for your teen, and we will do all we can to set both your minds at ease.

The good news is today’s braces are far more comfortable and far less conspicuous than ever before and are even available in a variety of styles, materials, and colors to match your teen’s personality and lifestyle. For those who prefer a more discreet treatment option, we offer Invisalign and Invisalign Teen clear aligner therapy, as well as clear braces. Grubaugh Orthodontics has a number of orthodontic appliances to choose from, both fixed and removable. These options include:

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Damon self-ligating braces
  • Insignia custom braces
  • Invisalign
  • Invisalign Teen

More than anything else, most teens want to know how long they will be in braces. Each case is treated according to its specific issues, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. However, we can give a general estimate on the amount of time it will take to treat their teeth, based on a few key factors.

Early (interceptive) treatment — As we mentioned above, having a child seen by an orthodontist by seven years old makes it easier to catch potential problems before they have a chance to become more serious. By diagnosing and treating oral issues in the beginning stages, we can sometimes cut down on the total time needed in braces, sometimes significantly.

What the orthodontic issue is — Every patient will react to treatment in their own way, and the time spent on the orthodontic process will vary depending on how quickly a teen’s body responds, and how much work is actually needed to correct the issue. What takes one patient a year or less to correct may take another patient two to three years, or longer.

How well a teen complies with a recommendation — Patients play a major role to play in their own treatment! By following Dr. Grubaugh’s recommendations, taking good care of their orthodontic appliance, and maintaining an excellent dental hygiene routine, teens can help keep their treatment time to a minimum. Compliance is critical to completing treatment as quickly as possible, so it is important for teens to be responsible and reliable during their orthodontic process.

Orthodontics for adults

Many adults are now choosing to seek orthodontic treatment later in life, for a variety of reasons. In fact, about 1 in 4 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18! As we age, we often begin to realize how important it is to maintain our oral health, because of how it can affect our overall health. Some feel they are finally able to afford the time and financial commitment to straightening their smile and want to feel better about their appearance. Better treatment options are also a factor, with several subtle but effective ways to straighten adult teeth now available, including clear braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign. Whatever the reason for choosing orthodontic treatment as an adult, we offer several options to achieve an aligned, healthy, and functional smile!

Young man with dental braces on his teeth

Grubaugh Orthodontics has what it takes to create beautiful smiles for all ages

Orthodontics can be beneficial to just about anyone suffering from oral issues. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean with brushing and flossing, keeping plaque and bacteria from forming, and helping to prevent related problems from developing. Orthodontic treatment can improve a patient’s cosmetic appearance, boosting self-confidence and resulting in a smile patients will want to share with the world! And perhaps most importantly, untreated orthodontic issues can get worse, creating long-term problems that can cost more time and money in the long run.

Here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we know adults, teens, and children have different orthodontic needs and will require differing levels of attention and treatment. As a highly educated, experienced, and skilled orthodontist, Dr. Grubaugh, along with his talented team, is able to provide this kind of care seamlessly. We work with you and your family to ensure only the most appropriate treatments are provided, and that you receive only the best orthodontic experience from our office.

If you are in Lansing, DeWitt, or the surrounding area, and are interested in learning more about what orthodontic treatment has to offer you and your family, get in touch with us today to schedule a complimentary exam with Dr. Grubaugh. We have got what it takes to get you started on a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime!



Brothers smiling for a photo