Our Blog

How To Know If Your Child Needs Orthodontics

September 18th, 2023

There isn’t a specific age at which children should start undergoing orthodontic treatment. However at around seven years old, your child will have grown out enough permanent teeth and the jaw is developed enough to tell if there are any current issues... or any on the horizon.

There are many benefits to getting orthodontic treatment as a child, including shorter treatment time, fewer impacted permanent teeth and reduced chance of needing to remove teeth because we:

  • Guide teeth into desired positions early 
  • Minimize crowding/creating room for erupting teeth
  • Guide jaw growth
  • Correct the results of oral habits like thumb and finger sucking 

Are there any signs I should look for?

Yes, definitely! Here are some of the signs to keep in mind:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting into food
  • Grinding and/or clenching of teeth
  • Mouth breathing
  • Speech difficulties
  • Thumb or other finger sucking habit
  • Crowding, misplacement, or blocking of teeth
  • Jaw shifts or jaw noises like popping
  • Protruding of teeth
  • Biting the inside of his or her cheek 
  • Teeth meet abnormally or do not meet at all
  • Jaw and teeth do not appear to be proportionate to the face

Keep in mind that these signs do not guarantee that your child needs treatment, but they may indicate that an orthodontic evaluation may be a good idea.

Do some of these signs look familiar to you? 

Have no fear, your child will be in good hands! Dr. Loveless uses the latest technology and stays up to date on the newest trends in orthodontics so that all of his patients can achieve their dream smiles. 

Think your child may need an orthodontic evaluation?

Dr. Loveless’ passion for orthodontics stems from “being able to witness a person’s change in self-confidence from the creation of a beautiful smile they are proud to show the world!” Early treatment can help give your child that healthy, beautiful smile for more self esteem as they go through their teenage years and through adulthood. 

Click below or call us at (507) 451-5993 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to meet you and your child!


Guide to Invisalign and Braces

April 21st, 2023

One of the questions we get most  is: “which is better: Braces or Invisalign?”

It’s a hard question to answer because so much depends on each individual’s personality and their specific needs. That’s why we prioritize spending time and listening to our patients. That’s what helps us land on the best possible treatment plan for each unique individual who comes to see us for orthodontics.

Here’s some background on our treatment options. Traditional metal or clear braces can be a great choice. There’s minimal involvement from the patient’s perspective except for avoiding foods that can damage brackets and wires, and brushing really well. Braces are also great for kids who simply aren’t going to wear aligners for 22 hours a day. And that’s okay! You’ll come to us every 6-8 weeks for adjustments and we’ll be on our way to a straighter smile in no time.

On the other hand, clear aligners are an excellent alternative for those that are good at keeping to a schedule. They’re also a great choice if you know brushing is already an issue - which makes braces more challenging. It’s harder to reach those nooks and crannies when the brackets and wires are in place.

If we feel that one would be a better option for any reason we’ll let you know why but we’ll talk through everything in detail together. In most cases both treatment options are efficient and effective at giving you an ideal smile!

If you’d like to learn more or find out if Invisalign or braces are right for you, contact us today! Click below to schedule your complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to meet you! 


Give Your Teen Something to Smile About

January 17th, 2023

Does your teen avoid smiling because they don’t like their teeth? An adolescent’s smile can actually have a profound effect on their confidence and even impact their social skills. Further, according to a research study out of Webster University, a confident smile can be seen as even more attractive than traditional good looks. 

We know that our teens are super conscious of their image. Just look at the number of selfies they take, and how much time they spend liking, commenting and sharing their friends’ photos on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. That’s why when teens come to Prairie Ridge Orthodontics for orthodontic treatment, we want to be sure we have options for them, to ensure their confidence stays high while their smile improves.

Through orthodontic treatment (either with traditional braces or Invisalign) Dr. Loveless can correct genetic issues from crowding and spaced teeth to protruding upper teeth. Or, we can address improper bites due to thumb-sucking as a child, periodontal disease, poor dental hygiene, early or late loss of primary teeth or trauma to the teeth from a sporting injury, for example. 

The other good news is that adolescence is the optimal time to rectify orthodontic problems since teens haven’t yet finished growing. Early correction of orthodontic problems frequently takes less time in treatment and is less costly when compared to correction of dental problems that have been allowed to progress into adulthood.

Improving and encouraging your teens’ confidence is important to us at Prairie Ridge Orthodontics. It’s one of the big reasons why we offer Invisalign (besides the fact that it’s an excellent technology that allows us to create beautiful, healthy smiles).

Want to give your teen something to smile about that may even help boost their self confidence? Bring them to Prairie Ridge Orthodontics and we will help create a selfie worthy smile. 


How does Invisalign® work?

August 25th, 2022

Prairie Ridge Orthodontics is a top Invisalign provider in Owatonna and Zumbrota, MN offering clear aligners as a treatment option for their patients. Invisalign is a convenient alternative to braces to get the beautiful straight teeth you’ve always wanted!

How does Invisalign work?

During a consultation at Prairie Ridge Orthodontics, Dr. Loveless will determine the exact movements necessary to get your teeth into the correct position. The Prairie Ridge Orthodontics team then has a custom-made series of aligners created for you. As you replace each Invisalign aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will gradually and gently shift-little by little, until they have straightened to the final position Dr. Loveless has prescribed.

What are the benefits?

Clear: Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No hiding your smile in meetings, engagement photos or school pick-ups and no closed-lipped selfies here!

Comfortable: Invisalign aligners are extremely comfortable made out of smooth, sleek plastic.

Confidence Booster: A recent study* found that only 22% of teens feel that wearing braces does/will boost their self-esteem; whereas, nearly half of teens report wearing Invisalign does/will boost their self-esteem (47%). Likewise, 40% of Teens reported that wearing braces would/does negatively impact their self-confidence during treatment; whereas, only 13% of Teens reported the same about wearing Invisalign aligners. After conversations with our Adult patients, we think the findings would be similar.

Removable: Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing you to eat and drink whatever you'd like while in treatment- there are no food restrictions! Plus, brushing and flossing is no problem.

Convenient: Fewer visits to the orthodontist means fewer interruptions of your busy schedule. You will visit Prairie Ridge Orthodontics once every 2-3 months to ensure that your treatment progress is on track.

Cost Effective: At Prairie Ridge Orthodontics, Invisalign comes at the same price tag as traditional braces. No need to shell out extra cash to avoid metal mouth. Plus we can offer little to no down payment.

*Invisalign Teen Confidence Survey

If you’d like to learn more or find out if Invisalign is right for you, contact us today! Click below to schedule your complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!

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