Orthodontics for Teens Columbia, MO

Teen Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment for teens is most commonly started between the ages of 12 and 16 because most permanent teeth have grown in by this time.

Gaps, crowding, and issues with bite and alignment are easily detected by this time.  Bone and jaw structures have sufficiently formed to allow orthodontic treatment to begin. Some kids and teens may have already begun Phase I treatment at an earlier age, and now may be the time to follow up with full braces or Invisalign. Robinson + Ries Orthodontics offers the best teeth straightening options.

Aesthetic Benefits

Aesthetic Benefits

If your teenager has gaps, crooked, protruding teeth, or other teeth problems they may feel self-conscious and hide their smile. They may also be very concerned with how they may be perceived and treated by their peers.  Confidence and positive self-esteem can help your teen be successful through their education, social, and future career goals.

Functional Benefits

Functional Benefits

Most people arrive at an orthodontist for aesthetic concerns, however many of the benefits from orthodontics are functional in nature. Healthy jaw joint and tooth alignment decrease the risk for sleep apnea, TMD, and tooth loss.

Teeth that are straight and well-aligned are:

  • Less prone to wear, chipping, and other trauma
  • Easier to keep clean, preventing decay or cavities
  • Key to reducing the chances of developing gum disease, which can result in bone loss, decay, and even tooth loss
  • Able to help in proper chewing and digestion
  • Designed to last for life by properly bearing the stress and wear of chewing

Braces and other orthodontic treatment can not only help your teen feel confident about having a healthy smile, but can also help set them up for success throughout their lives.

Treatment Options

Orthodontic Treatment For Teens

Invisalign: A responsible teen is a great candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign fits busy lifestyles and the clear aligners are removable and comfortable. There are no food restrictions and no pokey wires. They only need to be removed for brushing and flossing. Learn more about Invisalign here.

Clear Ceramic Brackets: If you are worried about your teen’s responsibility with removable Invisalign aligners, clear ceramic brackets are a great alternative. They have all the capabilities of braces but are clear instead of metal.

The Damon System: This is an innovative system that allows for less friction during orthodontic treatment so that complex cases can be treated with ease and efficiency. The design of the Damon bracket allows us to stretch out appointment intervals from 8 to 12 weeks.

Before & Afters


Robinson & Ries Orthodontics is exactly what they say they are–Outstanding! My son’s smile is perfect and my daughter’s will be soon. Every visit to the office is enjoyable and efficient. The Docs and staff know their jobs well. We’ve been 100% pleased with our experience and results.

Amy Boyd


How do I schedule my next appointment?

Simply call our office! We would gladly help you schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the dental care information that you need.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?
  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
  • If you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth or floss,  remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • During your orthodontic treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

Everyone of all ages is welcome and encouraged to visit the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit around the age of seven, however orthodontic treatment isn’t just for Children and Teens. One in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. So anytime, any age is a great time to visit the orthodontist. We love helping you look and feel better about your smile no matter the age.

Who is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Is It OK To Cancel My Appointment?

If you are unable to make an appointment, don’t fret. We can reschedule. However, we do appreciate it if you let us know immediately. Appointments can be made four to twelve weeks in advance. Please note that it can be very difficult to keep up with our planned progress for your treatment if appointments are missed, so please only reschedule your appointments during emergencies.

Regular Orthodontic Appointments

The appointment during which you get your braces usually takes one to two hours. Once you’re wearing them, you’ll see us on a regular schedule, every four to twelve weeks for adjustments. These regular appointments typically last about 40 minutes. At each regular visit, you’ll receive a “grade” for oral hygiene and elastic wear, this way you can keep track of your progress. Making sure you have good oral hygiene and proper elastic wear is important in improving your beautiful smile! Dr. Robinson, Dr. Ries, and their awesome staff will help you by carefully explaining everything. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions! They’d love to answer them for you.

These regular appointments are important in maintaining your orthodontic treatment routine and keeping up with the overall progress of getting your beautiful smile to where you want it. Our office blocks out times during after school hours to help accommodate students for when they are scheduling their regular appointments. These short appointments can be scheduled for after school so that we can minimize the time students are missing class. We typically schedule longer dental procedures and treatments for the middle of the day to accommodate the students. If a written school excuse is needed, we would love to help you out with that as well.


Records Visit

On your second visit, we will perform a variety of diagnostic studies to help determine the best course of treatment. Your “records visit” typically includes a panoramic radiograph, a cephalometric radiograph, facial and dental photographs, and impressions that are used to fabricate plaster study models. If you are an Invisalign or Insignia braces patient, you are in for a treat. Instead of impressions, your treatment will commence with a 3D scan using the iTero or Lythos scanner. The doctors use these records to create your customized orthodontic treatment plan and to track progress as your teeth move during the course of treatment.

I’ve Got Orthodontic Insurance, What’s Next?

Prior to your first appointment, we will be more than happy to call your insurance company to verify the coverage you have available. We accept assignment of benefits from Delta Insurance Company directly. For all other insurance companies, we will assist you by filing your claim and any necessary paperwork. We will also handle your insurance questions on your behalf so that you will receive your full benefit.

Orthodontics Can Be Expensive, What Options Do I Have For Payment Plans?

The smile of your life is more affordable than you might think. Although fees vary according to the complexity and time involved in each individual case, a personalized payment plan can be arranged with no interest or carrying a charge. When you have your initial complimentary consultation, our Treatment Coordinators will discuss and assist you with the options listed below. They will work with you to select the option works best with your monthly budget.

  • If full payment is made at the onset of treatment, we will offer a discount. If you have insurance, we will offer a discount for full payment of your portion of the fee that will not be covered by insurance.
  • We will work with you to establish a customized payment schedule that extends over the course of your treatment.
  • For your convenience, we accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover card.
  • Third-party financing options also are available
What Should I Expect During My First Orthodontic Appointment?

Our team believes that each person’s needs and expectations about orthodontics can be different. Because of these differences, it is imperative that each patient is treated based on their specific circumstance. This is why we take great pride in making sure that you have a customized treatment that you deserve.

Upon arrival for your first visit. You will be greeted by a Treatment Coordinator. She will show you around our office, and review your health history. In addition to these two things, she will ask you about your main concerns about your smile. This can help us customize the right treatment that meets not only your needs but also your desires. We will take digital photos and a digital panoramic X-ray before Dr. Robinson and Dr. Ries conduct a thorough examination to determine the basic nature of your problem.

If treatment is recommended, we will be glad to:

  • Discuss your individual needs
  • Explain your treatment options
  • Provide you with a written treatment plan and treatment timeline estimate
  • Inform you of the available fee and payment options and help you with your insurance
  • Answer any other questions you may have

We look forward to improving your beautiful smile!

How Do I Get Started?

The first step is to Contact Us. With your initial inquiry, we can set you up for a FREE initial exam. Simply, call and set the appointment and complete a Health History form. Your Health History Form will help us better serve your dental needs, as we can specify detailed and appropriate recommendations. This form aids in ensuring the best care for you throughout the course of your treatment.