Thanks to the fantastic combination of my mom and dad’s genetics, I wound up with nice straight teeth and a great smile. I never had to visit an orthodontist or worry about braces. So you can imagine how surprised I was to find out that not just one, but at least two of my three kids were going to be needing braces. I blame their dad’s genetics. Now because I never had to go through it myself, and neither did any of my family, I really had no clue what I was doing or anything about braces. But these here are just a few things I’ve found out so far in my journey to choosing an orthodontist.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Things to consider when choosing an orthodontist
Not all braces are created equal. Did you know that there are several different kinds of braces out there? I really only knew about the metal ones and the clear invisible ones. Little did I know that there are different types of braces and bracketing systems. There’s traditional metal braces, ceramic, Invisalign, lingual or even Damon braces. The metal ones are the regular traditional ones you’re used to seeing. Ceramic ones are less noticeable because they’re the same color as your teeth. Invisalign are clear and look like a retainer almost. Lingual braces go behind the teeth instead of in front. The Damon System Braces tend to be less noticeable than the brackets of traditional braces. The treatment time with the Damon System has shown to be shorter as well as causing less pain during treatment because of their more free moving design without elastic or metal ligatures.
They aren’t cheap. No matter where you go, you’re going to need to be willing to spend some money. Braces aren’t inexpensive. Check your insurance and see what will be covered. Different types of braces will run you different amounts. When choosing an orthodontist, if you don’t have the money to put down up front, make sure you find one that offers a great payment plan and will be willing to work with you on what you can afford.
Pick a place you love. You will be at the orthodontist quite often through the braces treatment process. Be sure to pick an orthodontist that understands that and tries to make your visits as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. It’s nice to have an office where your children aren’t bored and acting out and where you can sit and relax while the patient is in their appointment.
Pick a place close to home. You will be having several appointments over a year or more, depending on treatment time. It will become important to you that you don’t have to drive too far out of your way to be seen. Also, check to see that the orthodontist’s schedule will allow you to come to appointments when it’s convenient for you. That may include evenings or weekends.
You need to get a consult. All orthodontists should be willing to give you a free treatment consult. In your consult, you will get to meet the orthodontist that you will be working with and get to check out the office. They will discuss with you the treatment plan they would recommend. They will even give you a breakdown of cost and what you will be paying with or without insurance. If they have payment plans, they can walk you through their different options. Take advantage of that and go get a few.
Get a second opinion. Not all orthodontists agree on treatment plans and not all orthodontists are created equal. Most people go to their first orthodontist, get a consult and then jump in with both feet. I have to admit that I was almost one of these people. My kid’s dentist has an orthodontist on site. Let me start by saying that I love my kid’s dentist. So we naturally had a free consult with their orthodontist. He gave me a run down of his treatment plan and the cost with my insurance. Well, his plan included pulling a few of my son’s teeth to help with over crowding and giving him head gear to wear at night. Now, something about pulling a child’s perfectly good adult teeth didn’t sit right with me. I’m so glad I went to E&S Orthodontics for a second opinion.
The orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics told me that they almost never pull teeth unless in extreme situations. Then he showed me a study that demonstrated why they don’t. The teeth are there to support the lips and when you pull teeth out, over time, the face falls back and has a sunken in look to it. Instead, E&S Orthodontics looks at the face and its structure as a whole and finds ways to create the space and even out the jaw and facial structure. In my son’s case, the pictures they took showed a flat section of his teeth that they would round out to mirror the other side to create the space. His teeth also lean in towards the tongue. They would fix those so they sit upright. There would also be no headgear necessary.
The E&S Orthodontics office that I went to was fairly close to my house with great evening hours, allowing me to stop by after I got off of work. They have several different offices around the area that trade off being open on Saturdays, so I could make a weekend appointment if I needed to. They had a little drink and snack station in the waiting room for me while I waited. My boys even got to hang out on their gaming system while my son waited to be seen.
After the orthodontist came in and explained to me what he saw in my son’s facial and jaw structure that he would fix, we got to ask questions. The orthodontist was very knowledgable about what he was talking about. They even explained their reasoning for treatment by showing me pictures of past patients and their results. It was nice to have the individualized pictures of my son’s face and teeth on the big screen so he could point out what he was talking about and show me right there what he would do to create a perfect smile for my son.
I’m glad that I never had to go through getting braces myself, but I’m so glad that I went to get a second opinion at E&S Orthodontics. I could have caused unnecessary pain and future facial abnormalities for my handsome son. If you or one of your family members will be choosing an orthodontist to get braces, please, please be sure to get a few different opinions and be sure to check out E&S Orthodontics as one of them.
Have you or your kid ever had braces? What did you like or dislike about the experience?