Lisa Lee Freeman
The ONE step not to skip when buying a teeth-straightening treatment
I recently partnered with a company called Ormco, which makes orthodontic products, to help educate consumers about how to make the smartest choice when investing in a teeth-straightening treatment. With back-to-school (and work!) season gearing up—and many of us spending lots of hours a day smiling in front of a computer camera—now is a great time to research your options.
New technologies have made the process faster and easier. But beware that not all treatments will give you the same results! Orthodontists can help you choose the best one for you, and they often do more than straighten teeth to give you that perfect smile. They can fix problems such as overbites, underbites, gummy smiles, and sunken upper lips, and can improve the look of your lips, chin, jawline, and even reshape your profile. They can also broaden the arc of your teeth to give you a big, wide gorgeous smile.
So don’t skip the orthodontist! They specialize in smiles. In addition to dental school, they must complete two to three additional years of schooling. Plus, they have thousands of hours of additional training and education. Creating a great smile is as much of an art as it is a science, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all process. You can show orthodontists pictures of smiles you admire and they can determine what’s achievable for you and offer a personalized treatment plan.
As a consumer expert, I see people make mistakes all the time when they’re in a rush to save time and money. Pandemic-related health worries might also factor in. But orthodontist offices have safety procedures in place to protect you and your family. My advice is to go for a free consultation with at least one or two orthodontists before making your final decision.
Here’s how to find the best orthodontist for you and your family.
1. Ask for referrals from your dentist, friends, and family who are happy with their orthodontists. Also, check with your dental insurance company to see which doctors are covered by your plan.
2. Check each doctor’s education, expertise, and patient reviews online.
3. Bring a list of questions to each consultation. Ask about the kinds of orthodontic issues the doctor treats, and how often you or your child will need office visits. Also ask about orthodontic treatments offered, keeping in mind that not all doctors offer all treatment options and smile outcomes can vary by doctor as well as methods used. If you have questions about Covid protections, call before you arrive for your first appointment.
4. Ask to see before-and-after photos of patients who have had a similar issue and treatment approach. (Check out Kaitlyn's amazing photos above!)
5. Go to HealthySmileIQ.com. It’s a great resource for finding local orthodontists and getting educated about treatments that you can discuss with your doctor. You’ll also find a guide to help you interview orthodontists.