Braces for Adolescents – Growth and Development

Timing is everything, even when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. “Early” treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, means treatment that is performed while some baby teeth are still present.

Orthodontic problems don’t improve as children age, they simply become harder to treat. It’s easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because the body is still growing rapidly at this time.

Orthodontics is in the scope of pediatric dentistry because it includes growth and development of the dental arches. An early growth and development evaluation may provide your child with a more positive experience should they need early orthodontic treatment from our doctors.

Click on the link below to request a consultation at either our Blaine or Riverdale clinics or give our office a call directly.

For our current orthodontic patients, please click HERE for a complete list of products we recommend for dental care during your ortho treatment.


Our Doctors

Both Dr. Darcy and Dr. Megan have completed training in Orthodontia and are able to provide our youngest patients with recommendations and treatment.

Dr. Dan Sletten joined our Riverdale and Blaine orthodontics team and has over 20 years of experience. He is a third generation specialist in orthodontics, preceded by his father and grandfather. He completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Minnesota and his Master’s Degree/Orthodontics Residency Program at the University of Iowa. Dr. Dan believes in airway development and non-extraction treatment to provide the highest level of care for all his patients.


Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are metal brackets that are fixed to the front surface of the teeth. A wire is threaded through each bracket and tightened at various intervals throughout the treatment.

ALF Treatment

(Alternative Lightwire Functionals)which uses light, flexible wires for orthodontic treatment is more than just a way to create a beautiful smile – it is a preventive health approach. A few advantages to ALF treatment include: 

  • Less painful than traditional braces
  • Removable when necessary
  • Barely visible which makes it cosmetically pleasing
  • Focused on facial development and airway health
  • Empowering the patient
  • Well-developed faces, minimizing the risk for TMJ problems
  • Improved airway health, reducing the risk for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

The ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functionals) appliance’s physiologic design is specially designed to bring about  changes in muscle function to achieve stable results.


  • Cosmetic- barely visible from the outside
  • Gentle – far less discomfort than with traditional braces
  • Treatment visits only every 6-8 weeks
  • Stable

Results in:

  • Development of the upper and lower dental arches by expanding them where needed
  • Re-positioning of the lower jaw relative to the upper
  • Establishing the correct bite/occlusion. (An over-closed bite creates muscle spasms and forces the jaw joints out of position)

Treatment duration and technique vary between patients according to individual needs.


Invisalign treatment is the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, backed by more than two decades of innovation.  Unlike braces, Invisalign clear  aligners are removable and virtually invisible. There are no wires and brackets, so you don’t need to change the way you brush and floss. And you can continue to eat all your favorite foods! Dr. Darcy is an Invisalign Provider and is able to provide her expertise and guidance, should this be an option for your child.

If you have questions about your child’s orthodontic care, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!