There is an alarming trend taking place in the world of orthodontics right now.

According to a study released in early 2017, about 13 percent of the orthodontists who belong to the American Association of Orthodontists have reported seeing patients who have attempted DIY teeth straightening in recent years.

Trying to straighten your teeth on your own is, obviously, a big no-no. You run the risk of doing irreparable damage to your teeth when you make an effort to straighten them yourself.

Instead, you should always seek the services of a licensed orthodontist if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your teeth. They can use the right treatments to restore your smile and make it look its best again.

Don’t hire just any orthodontist to work on your teeth, though. Here are some tips that will help you choose the right one in your area.

Seek Recommendations For Local Orthodontists

There are approximately 4 million kids and adults walking around with braces on their teeth at any given moment. That means that there’s a really good chance you know at least a few people who are seeing an orthodontist right now.

Before you start searching for one on the internet, talk to the people you know with braces about their orthodontics provider. They should be able to give you more information on them and tell you all about the treatment options they provide.

It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in getting braces for yourself or want to find a good orthodontist for your kids. It never hurts to ask those around you about the orthodontists they visit. You can find out a lot about local orthodontists and see which ones are worth your time and which ones aren’t.

Ask the AAO For Help

In addition to asking family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others for more info on their orthodontists, you should also rely on the American Association of Orthodontists, better known as AAO, for help.

The AAO was first established all the way back in 1900. It currently represents almost 20,000 orthodontists working in the U.S., Canada, and even abroad.

The AAO is very selective when it comes to accepting new members. They only want the best of the best as far as orthodontists are concerned, and they won’t accept anyone who hasn’t received the proper education and training.

Getting the right education and training is absolutely essential for orthodontists. It allows them to learn about the different treatments that they can use and lets them know the best timeframes to put those treatments to good use.

Most orthodontists that are members of the AAO are more than happy to tell potential patients all about it. They value their AAO membership and use it to their advantage when marketing their services.

But if you want to find out if an orthodontist in your area is an AAO member, you can use the AAO website to do it. They allow you to search for local orthodontists in your city or town.

Read Online Reviews For Orthodontists

If there are only one or two orthodontists in your area that are AAO members, it’ll make your decision pretty easy. You won’t have to do too much additional research to choose the orthodontist that’s right for you or your child.

But if there are lots of orthodontists in your city or town that are AAO members, it can be more difficult to make a decision. You should turn to online reviews next to figure out which orthodontists are worth your time.

Google some of the orthodontists that you’re considering and browse through the online reviews that people have left for them in the past. This should give you a good sense of what each orthodontist is all about and what they bring to the table.

It’s a good idea to read both positive and negative reviews. It’ll allow you to see what orthodontists do well. It’ll also show you what some of their patients have complained about after receiving services from them.

See Which Services Orthodontists Provide

You might be under the impression that all orthodontists offer patients the same basic services. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, there are some orthodontists that still rely on traditional metal braces when treating most of their patients. There are also some that have moved on to ceramic braces that are ideal for patients who don’t want their braces to be visible.

In a perfect world, you want an orthodontist that offers these options. But you also want one that offers more modern options like Invisalign®, the Damon® System, and SureSmile®. This will increase your chances of enjoying a more pleasant orthodontic treatment.

Consider the Cost of Different Orthodontists

One of the things people worry about most when searching for orthodontists is the cost associated with them. Getting braces for yourself or your child will often require a sizable investment on your part.

Make this investment more manageable by tracking down orthodontists that offer reasonable prices. Find orthodontists that offer payment plans to their patients as well.

Try to speak with several orthodontists to see how much they charge and what payment arrangements they can make with you. It’ll help put your mind at ease before you start seeing an orthodontist regularly. 

Find the Best Orthodontist Today

When you first decide to put braces on your teeth or your child’s teeth, you might be overwhelmed by the idea of trying to find the best orthodontist. But when you use the tips here, you should be able to find one in no time.

Don’t be afraid to ask orthodontists lots of questions during your initial consultations to make sure they’re a good fit for you. You don’t want to start working with orthodontists before they’ve shown you that they’re your best available option.

Contact us today to make an appointment with Dr. Whitlock at one of our three convenient locations.