Similar words, different meanings.

Orthodontics, likely the more recognizable term of the two, is a specialty within dentistry that focusses on the correction of crooked or misaligned teeth and jaw. With Orthotropics, the focus is on facial development. Poor facial development can be the root cause of a crooked smile. Using this method, we can help your child attain a proportional face, a stronger jaw and open airways.

Treatment will help keep them healthy and avoid future dental work. Orthodontics works to address such problems using braces and retainers to correct the smile. This type of treatment works best with kids who are between ages four and ten. If your child is snoring or sleeping with an open mouth, has crowded teeth or dry lips, sucks his or her thumb, or has any other breathing problems, it’s worth speaking to your dentist about the possibility of orthotropic therapy.

Dr. Mitchell is experienced and happy to provide braces and/or any other high-quality service for the whole family.

Orthodontic and Orthotropics | Professional Dental Office Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry

Early/Interceptive Treatment — The Right Time for an Orthodontic Visit is No Later Than Age Seven

Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of braces or other orthodontics, there are good reasons why your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven.

While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an early evaluation can detect. The dentist will then recommend treatment at the appropriate time for the child.

Early treatment may give your dentist the chance to:

      • Guide jaw growth
      • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
      • Correct harmful oral habits
      • Improve appearance
      • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
      • Improve the way the lips meet

Through an early orthodontics evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for an effective orthodontia treatment and ultimately, a healthy, beautiful smile.

Close Up Child WIth Braces | Orthodontic Braces Dentist Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry
Smiling Woman With Braces | Orthodontic Braces Dentist Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry

Adult Treatment

Braces aren’t just for kids anymore – a large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their smile. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. In fact, we offer a variety of advanced treatments designed for adults, including convenient and affordable Invisalign®.

Without proper treatment, crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain. But there is good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits and shorten treatment time. Additionally, you’ll have many options to choose from, including metal braces, clear/ceramic braces or invisible aligners that can be worn to improve misaligned teeth.

Bioliners™ & Invisalign®

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that provides an alternative to metal braces. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is virtually invisible and removable.

The Invisalign system works through a series of custom aligners. Many adults and older teens are candidates for Invisalign.

Bioliner Plus is a clear dental aligner similar to Invisalign. Bioliner offers a more economical alternative than Invisalign. Bioliner is a good solution to correct minor to moderate dental rotation, and teeth spacing problems. The Bioliner continuously realigns the teeth using a soft dental insert.

Dr. Mitchell will advise you as to which system is best to meet your needs and cosmetic outcome.

Smiling Isolated Man | Quality Dentist Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry
  • Invisalign uses clear aligner trays that fit closely to teeth; many people will not even see them.
  • The aligners are smooth and comfortable. There are no sharp or jagged edges to irritate the inside of your mouth.
  • Invisalign helps correct a wide range of conditions, including spaces, overbites, under/cross bites and crowding.
  • Aligners easily snap in and out of the mouth.
  • Dental hygiene routines are easy with Invisalign, just brush and floss normally before reinserting the aligners.
  • The Invisalign system requires orthodontic visits every 8 to 10 weeks.
Invisalign | Orthodontic Dentist Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry
Smiling Couple After Dentist Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry

Invisalign procedure and time frame

Time to complete — Invisalign time varies with each patient and the type and amount of correction. The process takes between 9 to 15 months.

1st procedure visit — Dr. Mitchells assistant will take impressions of your teeth and digitized them.

Using 3-D modeling software — Dr. Mitchell will plan out the movement of the teeth. Invisalign will then create sets of the aligners and send them to the office every two weeks.

Subsequent visits — You will need to stop by the office every few weeks to receive your new aligners and for a quick check to ensure everything is progressing as expected. Each set of aligners gently adjusts your teeth for about two weeks before you progress to the next set. Every 8 weeks or so, we do an orthodontic progress check and make any necessary adjustments.


Dental Expander | Orthodontic Dentist Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry
Dental Expander | Orthodontic Dentist Kalamazoo, MI | Karen Mitchell Dentistry