It’s difficult enough to find the best dentist possible for your family; there is another issue entirely to consider when you’re first informed that your child needs to see an orthodontist. While some orthodontists are also qualified dentists, many parents get confused because they thought that orthodontists and dentists were the same. In fact, the two offer very different services. While dentists ensure that teeth cleanings are taken care of, as well as basic check-ups and sometimes cosmetic dentistry procedures are attended to, orthodontists focus on ensuring that the teeth are properly aligned. They also often work to correct other potential alignment issues related to the mouth, like gum problems (otherwise known as periodontal problems) and jaw misalignments. Orthodontists may or may not work alongside oral surgeons to correct certain problems. But most often, they will be working with orthodontic equipment, like braces.
While some parents may find the work that orthodontists do to be largely cosmetic, this is not always the case. And certainly, when the best dentist that you could find recommends that your child needs to see an orthodontist, you should take them seriously. But looking for an orthodontist for your child isn’t as simple as going through a directory and picking the first person that you see. Of course, you’ll want to work with an orthodontist who understands the needs of your child, while at the same time creating a bond with them. After all, your relationship with an orthodontist is a long-term relationship. The last thing you want to do is grin and bear it through a bad pairing! With that being said, here are some tips on finding a good orthodontist for your child.
1. Listen To Your Dentist
There is a reason why you’re with the dentist that you are; though if you aren’t working with the best dentist possible for your family, perhaps you should make a transition there before choosing an orthodontist. You’re probably looking for an orthodontist in the first place because your dentist referred you to one, and though you don’t have to take their referral, if you trust your dentist in general you should look into it. You can always have an initial consultation with the orthodontist and then choose to look elsewhere; and for that matter, you can ask your dentist about whether or not they have any alternate recommendations.
2. Ask About the Treatments They Offer
Just like the best dentists will offer alternative treatments if the standard treatments don’t work for you, the best orthodontists are willing to get creative as well. A lot of kids are hesitant about getting braces because of the way they look, and the insecurities which may surround wearing braces. Therefore, you may want to work with an orthodontist that can offer alternate options to traditional braces, like Invisalign clear aligners. It’s estimated that about 47% of all Invisalign Teen users had a self-esteem boost in the process of treatment. This is compared to 22% of teens that wear metal braces. Having an orthodontist that offers these types of options is always helpful.
3. Look For a Rapport
Going to the orthodontist is stressful even for the most mature of teens and children. Therefore, they need to have a good rapport with their orthodontist. They need to be able to be honest about issues they might have with their gear, as well as discomfort they might feel due to certain procedures. If a patient is struggling with pain as their braces are adjusted, they need to be straightforward with their orthodontist about this. Furthermore, having a good rapport with their orthodontist will ensure that a child is communicative about their treatment, and will feel less anxiety in the long term.
4. Ask About Payment Processes
A lot of orthodontists offer financing options; however, not all of them do, and some are more flexible with others. Be honest about your financial situation and what you can afford to pay, as well as the manner in which you can pay for it. Most orthodontists will work with you, but you should shop around if your original orthodontist isn’t.
Finding an orthodontist can be tricky; but once you have the right one, your life will be a lot easier! Schedule a free consultation with our Hanover orthodontist Dr. David Ross today!