Ages 16-24

Best Smile Practice: It’s not too late to straighten your teeth at this age, and you don’t necessarily need braces to do it.

For teenagers and young adults, teeth whitening becomes the favored fix. Some medications darken teeth, while other smiles show remnants of a coffee or tea habit. Though over-the-counter products do work, they are not tailored to each individual person. Dentists can provide a uniformly bright smile with custom trays, says Melissa Zettler of Cherrywood Dental Care in Savage. There are take-home and in-office whitening choices, which vary in cost and effectiveness.

While traditional braces are typically the first choice of orthodontists working with teen and young adult patients, a porcelain veneer or two can correct a crooked tooth or minor crowding. Bonding is another option for the 16 to 24 set. “Bonding can be used to fill chips and gaps,” says Nancy Norling of Nancy Norling, DDS in St. Louis Park. “In some instances, it can be used to correct or enhance the contour of teeth.”

“Bonding can be used to fill chips and gaps.”
Nancy Norling, Nancy Norling, DDS


Ages 8-16

Braces are the name of the game at this age.

Ages 24-35

At this age, problems start cropping up from tooth grinding or not wearing a recommended retainer.

Ages 35-55

Cosmetic dentistry packs a powerful punch for this group.

Ages 55 and Older

All of the above procedures work nicely on people 55 and older, prompting many to start raising their hand at the dentist’s office.