Child and Adult Orthodontics

When should I get braces?

Orthodontic treatment is different for adults and children. For children, most of the time depending on the problem and how severe it is, correction should be started as soon as the problem is diagnosed. At West Oakland Advanced Dental Artistry we do not believe in waiting until all the permanent teeth are in the mouth.


Early intervention, at the stage where both baby and adult teeth are present, allows us to direct growth to minimize future problems when the rest of the teeth come in. Using “functional” appliances we can take advantage of growth stages to guide the eruption of adult teeth. It also helps to get the problems fixed before stressful teenage years. We see the best results with treatments that would be impossible or limited once the face and jaws have fully developed.

A tremendous advantage to having a general dentist like Dr. Allain who does orthodontics as well is that he is constantly evaluating your child’s normal facial growth and development. This starts at the initial exam and occurs at each periodic exam and cleaning appointment. Such things as improper tongue swallowing patterns, bad habits such as tongue thrusting or finger sucking, snoring, enlarged tonsils and abnormal eruption of teeth can quickly result in a change in tooth alignment, facial bone imbalances and altered facial appearances.

In some cases, the child’s treatment can be broken into several phases to correct problems as they occur. Early intervention will usually allow easier completion of treatment at a later age and often less expense.


Adult orthodontic treatment should be started as soon as the patient wants to correct a problem, be it cosmetic or function. Not only can adult orthodontics improve your smile, it can also give you a more stable bite that reduces jaw joint problems, cracked and chipped teeth, tooth grinding, gum and bone problems, facial pain and headaches. For adults, it’s truly never too late to start. Dr. Allain has treated patients in their 60’s to correct some of the problems mentioned above.

How do I go about getting braces?

In order to determine the type of orthodontics you need, Dr. Allain will need to completely evaluate your mouth. This usually includes:

1. Full Exam: First a medical and dental history is completed by you, and then Dr.Allain will check for cavities, evaluate your bite, look for any problems with your jaws, or anomalies in the bone, and check the position of the teeth in your jaw.

2. Panoramic Film: A panoramic film is a front view x-ray that shows all bone structure of the jaw joint and positioning of the teeth.

3. Cephalometric Film: A Cephalometric film is a side view x-ray that shows your facial profile and the relationship of the teeth and jaws. This is used to help determine the type of treatment needed for orthodontics.

4. Diagnostic Impressions: Impressions are taken of your teeth from which plaster models will be made. This will allow Dr.Allain to study your teeth after the appointment and serve as a model prior to treatment. They will often be brought out during treatment to show what great progress you are making in your treatment.

5. Photographs: Photographs are taken of your face, teeth, facial profile and smile. These allow Dr.Allain to give you the best facial balance and smile possible. These photos will be kept to show your face prior to treatment and to show you the progress that has been made during treatment.

After these diagnostic aids have been analyzed, DrAllain will develop a customized treatment plan for your correction. These aids will also be available during the next step which is the consultation visit. All your questions will be answered concerning financial options, length of treatment, how many phases of treatment are needed, retention therapy, and follow-up visits. We want to make sure you know what to expect so there will be no interruption in your treatment.

Bracketing Appointment: At this visit which usually takes about an hour and a half (with co-operation from the patient), we will bond small brackets onto the front surfaces of your teeth and insert the first wire. At the end of this visit, we will provide you with an oral care package that contains all the necessary items for keeping your braces, teeth and gums healthy while you go through treatment.

You will also receive information on do’s and don’ts in order to keep the brackets on your teeth.

Routine “orthodontist” visits: Additional visits to check on your progress, evaluate your oral hygiene and change wires as necessary usually occur every 4 weeks. With the “Speed Bracket System”, we have found that the number of visits and time for treatment has been greatly reduced. Since this is a “low force- low friction” treatment, tooth soreness is also greatly reduced. It is important to note; treatment time is greatly affected by the patients’ level of cooperation and commitment to the desired results.

Retention Therapy: When it is determined that the desired results have been achieved, we will remove the brackets and take two more sets of impressions, we will use one set to make removable retainers, the second set will serve as the finished models and be compared to the models taken prior to treatment. In most cases adult patients will need to continue to wear retainer’s long term. Follow up appointments will be made to evaluate and tighten your new retainers.

What type of Orthodontics do we do?

We offer several types of braces and appliances to correct bite problems. This specific type will depend on the correction needed and the severity of the problem. The different types are:

1. Regular braces: (Phase two) Consist of very tiny brackets that are “glued”or bonded onto the front surfaces of your teeth. The Speed Bracket System”brackets do not require any latex ties (self ligating) and therefore are easier to clean and less irritating to your gums .

2. Functional Appliances: (Phase one) These appliances can be removable or fixed (cemented). The appliance is activated on a regular basis by the patient. These appliances are used to move specific segments of teeth, they are also used to widen and expand the “arch” to make room for the teeth, and are usually used prior to braces. This can allow phase two (braces) to be completed much sooner, and in some cases, relieve the need for further orthodontic treatment


Highland Michigan dentist serving Milford, Hartland, White Lake, Commerce, Wixom, Brighton and surrounding areas. 
Dr. Allain is your family dentist, offering dental care for children, teens, and adults.