How to Choose an Orthodontist for Kids: Everything to Know
There are now 83,000 licensed orthodontists and 11,900 related businesses across the US. If you want to choose an orthodontist for your kids, it helps to have a plan first. Otherwise, you could waste valuable time vetting options for orthodontists.
The orthodontist you choose could lack the experience and expertise you’re searching for, too.
Here are a few tips you can use to find the best orthodontist for your children. With these tips, you can feel confident knowing your children are receiving the best care.
Start your search for a kids’ orthodontic practice with these tips today.
Talk to Other Parents
You can streamline your search for an experienced, qualified orthodontist by talking with other parents first. Ask parents in your inner circle if they’ve visited an orthodontist recently. If they have, ask about their experience.
Make sure to clarify that you’re looking for an orthodontist for your children.
Draft a list of questions you want to ask other parents about orthodontists in the area. For example, you might consider:
- Does the orthodontist treat children and/or adults
- How long have they worked in the industry
- What orthodontic treatments do they offer
- Where are they located
- Were you happy with the services you received
- Did you encounter any problems
If the parent encountered problems during the appointment, ask what happened. Determine what the practice did to fix the problem, too. Try to find a practice that prioritizes patient care.
If you’re unable to gather recommendations from other parents, that’s okay. Instead, find options for orthodontists online.
While you’re online, take the time to read online patient reviews from local parents. Reading reviews can help you find an orthodontist locals love and trust. You could feel more comfortable choosing an orthodontist who has a strong, professional reputation.
Check the orthodontist’s website, BBB listing, and Google Business profile for online patient reviews.
If you find a number of complaints between the profiles, remove that office from your list.
Look for Experience
Remember, there are over 83,000 orthodontists in the US. Some professionals have more orthodontic care experience than others, though. During your search, take the time to learn about each orthodontist’s professional history.
Look for an orthodontist who has years of hands-on experience treating patients.
Finding an orthodontist with years of experience will give you peace of mind about their abilities. These professionals will have an easier time understanding your child’s needs and goals. An experienced professional is less likely to make mistakes, too.
Instead, they’ll likely have an easier time customizing a treatment plan based on your child’s distinct needs.
Consider how many patients the orthodontist has treated over the years. Ask how many children they’ve treated within that time, too.
As you review your options for orthodontists, make sure to choose an orthodontist who specializes in treating children. A professional who lacks experience treating kids might struggle to put your child at ease. Your child’s dental anxiety might keep them from receiving thorough treatment.
An orthodontist with experience treating children will know how to keep your child comfortable during each appointment.
Consider Their Specialty
Once you find professionals with years of orthodontic care experience, learn more about each practice. Does the orthodontist you’re considering have a specialty?
Orthodontists often perform dentofacial orthopedics. They specialize in normalizing the structure of the jawbone. As a result, they’re able to repair an imbalance in the face.
Though all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists.
Make sure each orthodontist on your list has the Seal of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Confirm that their credentials are up-to-date, too.
Review Their Services
Before you choose an orthodontist for your child, take a moment to consider your child’s orthodontic needs and goals.
For example, you might want to consider Invisalign for your teen. Clear, Invisalign aligners are a discreet treatment option. Your child can remove their aligners to eat and drink.
However, your child will need to wear their aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Otherwise, they might experience a delay in treatment. With that in mind, Invisalign is ideal for older children who have more self-discipline.
If you’re seeking treatment for a younger child, you might want to consider traditional metal braces instead. Metal braces are ideal for more extensive orthodontic issues.
There are other orthodontic treatments you might want to consider for your child as well.
Before selecting an orthodontist, make sure they offer the forms of treatment you’re considering for your family.
Explore Their Technology
Determine if the orthodontic practice remains up-to-date with new technologies and procedures. Otherwise, you might find an orthodontist who uses outdated methods.
For example, you might want to find an orthodontic office that uses iTero scanning. These offices don’t rely on uncomfortable mouth trays to make impressions. Instead, the iTero scanner can create an Invisalign outcome simulator.
The simulator will allow you and your child to view the end result of their orthodontic treatment.
The office might also use Biolase lasers. These lasers can sculpt gum lines, relieve pain for patients with TMJ, and whiten teeth.
Check Before and After Photos
Ask the orthodontist if you can review before and after photos of their recent patients. Request to view photos of patients who requested the type of treatment your child is considering. Then, determine if the end result meets your child’s goals.
These before and after photos can help you develop realistic expectations about your child’s treatment plan.
Schedule a consultation appointment at two or three offices. Meet with the orthodontist to learn about their experience and expertise. Consider their bedside manner, too.
If you’re uncomfortable around the orthodontist, keep searching.
Ask for an itemized list of their services as well. Comparing orthodontist costs can help you gauge the average price for each treatment.
Smile-Worthy Results: Choose an Orthodontist for Your Kids Today
Learning how to choose an orthodontist your children will love shouldn’t feel stressful. Instead, use these tips to streamline your search. With these tips, you can find the best orthodontist in town.
They’ll help improve the appearance of your child’s smile, setting them up for lasting success.
Eager to schedule your child’s next appointment? We can’t wait to see you both.
Request a free consultation today to get started.