The following is an article published by the American Association of
Orthodontists which addresses frequently asked questions regarding
Today, nearly four million children in the United States and Canada
are receiving treatment from members of the American Association of
Orthodontists (AAO). And while parents know that orthodontic treatment
results in a healthy, beautiful smile, many don’t realize the important
long-term health benefits.
As part of its commitment to education, the AAO provides parents with
this list of answers to commonly asked questions about orthodontic care.
1. Why is orthodontic treatment important?
A: Straight teeth and properly aligned jaws contribute to good dental
health as well as overall physical health. Orthodontic treatment can
boost a person’s self-image as teeth, lips and jaws move into position
and improve appearance.
2. How do parents know if their child needs orthodontic treatment?
A: The best way is to visit an orthodontist. The AAO recommends that
all children get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age
3. What if my child still has baby teeth at age seven? Should they still see an orthodontist?
A: Yes. By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for
orthodontists to evaluate how the teeth and jaws meet, and to identify
current or developing problems. If a problem is detected, the
orthodontist and parents can discuss when treatment may be necessary.
4. How does a child’s growth affect orthodontic treatment?
A: Treatment and growth often compliment each other. In some cases,
the orthodontist takes advantage of a child’s growth to guide jaws and
teeth into their ideal positions.
5. How often do you visit your orthodontist while in orthodontic treatment?
A: Typically a child will see the orthodontist every 6-12 weeks throughout the course of treatment.
6. If you currently don’t have an orthodontist, what is the best way to find someone to treat orthodontic problems?
A: To find an orthodontist near you, ask for a referral from your
family dentist, your pediatrician or your child’s school nurse. Or you
can visit www.braces.org and click on the Find an Orthodontist service.
It is important to choose an orthodontist who is a member of the AAO.
Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized
education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and
straighten teeth. Only those with this formal education may call
themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the
7. What is the average cost of orthodontic treatment?
A: Fees will vary, depending on the treatment needed. Most
orthodontists offer convenient payment plans, making treatment more
affordable than ever. Most orthodontists will work with you to find a
plan that fits your family budget. In addition, many patients have
dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits. Check with your
employer’s human resources department to learn about your coverage.
Courtesyof the American Association of Orthodontists