Many parents postpone orthodontic care because they have a preconceived notion that getting braces will cost a fortune. The truth is that the fees for orthodontic care varies by child. The only way to know what your child needs is by making a visit to our office and asking questions.
Here are the top 6 things every parent should know before getting braces for your child:
#1: Have you prepared a list of questions?
An orthodontic consultation is when you’ll learn whether the office, staff and doctor you’re visiting are a good match. You’ll learn what’s involved in your child’s care, from when to start planning for braces to how long your child will need to wear braces and how frequent office visits will need to be. You’ll want to find out whether visits will impact your work day or your child’s school day. For many parents, the cost of care is a primary concern, and now’s the time to find out all you can about what can impact these fees.
#2: What makes an orthodontist different from other dentists?
To become an orthodontist, additional education beyond dental school is required. During this training, orthodontists to learn to identify and diagnose dental irregularities, the proper way to align teeth and jaws, and how to treat a broad spectrum of dental problems resulting from a range of issues in your child’s development. Orthodontists are trained to address problems with biting and chewing, grinding and clenching teeth, and even facial imbalance and more.
#3: What’s involved in your child’s orthodontic care?
An orthodontist’s set up will be similar to a dentist’s, including a dentist’s chair. There are very similar practices performed just like during a regular check-up, and an orthodontist may ask additional questions about whether there are any problems in chewing or swallowing, or whether your child’s jaws click or pop when opening and closing the mouth, among others.
Your child will have X-rays to gain insight into your child’s teeth and their growth; your child may need to have one or more teeth removed to allow more space. A mold, referred to as an “impression” will be made that shows of the shape and size of your child’s teeth.
Once braces are on, visits are every few weeks to check that braces are in place and for needed adjustments.
#4: How much will braces cost?
There are insurance plans for dental care; some take the form of flex spending, health savings or other forms of coverage, and some have a waiting period. Treatment costs vary from orthodontist to orthodontist, just like they do with regular dentists. Ask if your quote covers all costs from beginning to end, or whether there are additional fees you can expect during treatment. You’ll also want to know about follow-up care in the form of retainers.
#5: How long will my child need to wear braces?
Children generally wear braces between one and three years. What impacts this timeframe is your child’s growth and the severity of the problem, as well as how well your child adheres to the instructions given about care.
#6: What about sports or playing an instrument?
An instrument played using the mouth can be challenging at first but shouldn’t pose major problems. Your child will have to adjust their play to find what works for him or her while wearing braces. Lip protectors made specifically for musicians with braces are available.