6 Facts to Know Before Getting Braces

1. Do not wait for your child to loose all baby teeth before seeing an orthodontist.
Why does the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic consultation by the age of 7? There are problems that become more severe and not correctable without surgery if left until all permanent teeth are in. For instance, an underbite (where the lower teeth stick out further than the upper teeth) should be corrected at an early age, ideally around the age of 7.

2. There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment.
Most people think braces are for children, but there is an increasing amount of adults that are getting braces and there are many options for invisible braces. As long as you have healthy gums, you could benefit from straight teeth. Not only do straight teeth give you a beautiful smile, but they are much easier to clean and the overall health and function improves, too.

3. The type of braces is not as important as the patient-doctor relationship.
It’s not the brackets that make the difference, it’s the technique and experience of the orthodontist as well as the cooperation of the patient that is important to a successful result. So, trust the experience of your orthodontist. If you don’t like his or her approach, get another opinion from a different orthodontist before starting treatment.

4. The results of your Invisalign will depend on your doctor.
Invisalign is a lab that makes a custom product based on what your orthodontist prescribes. Going to the cheapest place for your treatment is very risky, even with Invisalign treatment. These bargain hunters often wind up needing to go to a skilled orthodontist to correct and undo the faulty work, which ends up costing more time and money, and more importantly, compromises the health of the teeth and gums.

5. Not all dentists who offer braces are orthodontists.
Orthodontist are specialists in tooth movement, bite and jaw function and understand the complexity of growth and development of the face. Only the top dental students are accepted into orthodontic residency programs. After completing dental school, orthodontists spend another 2-3 years to learn about the specialty. Dentists who offer braces or Invisalign may have taken a few courses to learn about braces, which is not enough to treat the spectrum of orthodontic problems.

6. Not all orthodontists are board-certified.
Only about 25% of orthodontists are board-certified through the American Board of Orthodontics, the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association. A board certified orthodontist is an orthodontist who has voluntarily gone through hundreds of additional hours of preparation to demonstrate their judgment, skills and knowledge required for providing the highest level of patient care.

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