October is National Orthodontic Health Month, a time when orthodontists make a special effort to talk about how their services help others. Who can blame orthodontists for wanting to celebrate? According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 4 million children and 1 million adults are currently receiving orthodontic treatment. Many millions more would benefit from treatment.
On a routine basis, orthodontists help people of all ages:
- Achieve straight teeth and an attractive smile
- Increase confidence and obtain a better self-image
- Align jaws properly for correct eating and speaking
- Help make teeth easy to clean and maintain
- Lower chances of severe, expensive dental issues down the road such as gum disease, tooth decay, and pain in the jaw, head and neck
All of this sounds good, but perhaps you’re wondering how to find the right orthodontist. That’s a great question. There are some important things to consider.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist
Orthodontic treatment typically only takes a few years from start to finish, but the results achieved last a lifetime. And it really does matter who straightens your teeth. During your relatively brief treatment period, you’ll want the experience to be as pleasant and welcoming as possible. When deciding between orthodontic providers in the Coastal Bend, here are five factors to consider:
1. Licensed Orthodontist
In an attempt to earn more money, some general dentists have expanded their services to include orthodontic procedures, offering Invisalign treatments in particular. Orthodontics, however, is a specialized branch of dentistry that requires an additional two years of training. For the best outcomes, it’s best to choose someone who knows what they’re doing and has experience in various treatment methods.
2. Advanced Treatment Options
These days, technology advances quickly. There are many different ways to correct bites, and all the treatment options vary in aesthetics, duration, and price. What works best for someone else may not be best for you. Furthermore, new developments are happening all the time. Find a local orthodontist who’s on top of the latest technology.
Costs are always a concern when orthodontic procedures are involved. Ensure you are not surprised by hidden costs and fees. Ask all your questions in advance of receiving treatment. Make sure that the orthodontist you’re considering explains all costs clearly, as well as the possibility of additional charges. Payment plans or programs may also be available.
Research the reputation of any orthodontist you are considering entrusting with your health. A referral from a satisfied patient is a great start. Also check online reviews, and take a note of any common observations from patients. What are the practice’s strengths and weaknesses? How is their customer service?
5. Take Advantage of Your Initial Consultation
Most orthodontists offer a free initial consultation. During your visit, keep your own interests in mind. It’s a good sign if the practice leaves you smiling.
And one final tip? While you’re enjoying your Halloween candy, pass on the sticky stuff like Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, and Double Bubbles. You should also avoid candies with nuts in them. Chocolates and candies that melt in your mouth and don’t require a lot of chewing are your the best options.