Children & Adults

Girl smiling, with braces.

Orthodontics for children

Children should have their first orthodontic examination at age 7. This gives Dr. Steiman an opportunity to start monitoring your child’s growth and development and recommend treatment at the ideal time. Growth is the most important factor in the correction of large overbites, underbites and space creation with the hopes of avoiding future adult teeth extractions. In many cases, treatment may actually start while some baby teeth are still present.

Two-phase treatment


Phase I treatment, or early interceptive treatment, focusses primarily on specific teeth and/or jaw growth problems. This often includes large overbites, underbites or a narrow upper jaw. Thumb sucking or tongue habit correction is another area of Phase I treatment since it often leads to problems with the teeth and jaws. Treatment of these types of issues are most successful when performed before age 10.


Phase II treatment is more comprehensive and focuses primarily on all the teeth in both jaws. Once the jaw growth mismatch issues are corrected, a beautiful, healthy smile can be created that functions ideally. Successful Phase I treatment often leads to simpler Phase II treatment. Sometimes, Phase II treatment may even be avoided.

Portrait of a man who is smiling.

Orthodontics for adults

A beautiful, healthy smile can be created for an adult at any age. In fact, the number of adults starting orthodontic treatment is continually growing. Roughly half of all the patients at Steiman Smiles Orthodontics are adults with an average age of 43 years old. Movement of teeth in an adult is very similar to a child however, the bone of an adult is denser. This can slow down tooth movement and increase the treatment time by up to six months. Many adults have experienced some breakdown or loss of teeth. Orthodontics is used to not only straighten the teeth, but prepare the missing teeth spaces for permanent fake teeth replacements. Some adults may require gum treatment before, during or after orthodontic treatment as well.