Almost four million children in America have orthodontic care, with the recommended age for their first consultation being seven years old.
Taking care of your child’s teeth is an important job, and you want to make sure it’s being done by the most qualified and kind orthodontist. Knowing how to choose the right practice may feel overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for an orthodontist in Cleveland.
Ask for Recommendations
The first place to start when looking for a Cleveland orthodontist is with people you already know, as those are likely the opinions you trust the most. Reach out to friends, family members, and coworkers to find out if they have any experience with orthodontists in the area. Pick their brain and find out whether their experience was good or bad, what their thoughts on the office and treatment are, and so on.
If you do receive recommendations, jot down the names of the practices and plan to do a little online research of your own. Your child’s regular dentist is also another great place to find esteemed referrals.
If all else fails, the Internet is full of recommendations as well. Just type “Cleveland orthodontics” or “kid’s orthodontist” into the search bar to pull up all the top results.
Check Their Education and Experience
You want your child’s orthodontist to be as experienced as possible so their treatment is sure to run smoothly. After all, your kid’s smile is precious, so it’s important to find an orthodontist who believes this as well.
Find out the orthodontist’s background, such as where they attended school, how long they’ve been practicing, and what they specialize in. Much of this information can likely be found on their practice’s website, but if it isn’t there, don’t be afraid to call and ask or have a conversation about their background in person.
Do they participate in any sort of continued education? This will tell you that they’re always bettering their learning and orthodontic knowledge. It’s also crucial that they are members of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Read the Reviews
Like recommendations, online reviews will give you insight from real people who have used this orthodontist’s office to find out what their experience was like.
Visit the orthodontist’s website to see if testimonials are posted on their page from past patients. While these testimonials contain useful bits of information to consider, keep in mind that most businesses only post positive reviews.
To find a wider variety of reviews, you can go to a site like Yelp or Google Reviews and find the orthodontist you’re considering. Read the most positive reviews, the worst reviews, and several reviews that are right in the middle. This will give you a more realistic view of what your experience might be like if you were to choose this orthodontist for your child.
Don’t feel worried if the orthodontist office that you’re hoping to go to has a couple of bad reviews – every business gets a bad review from time to time. But if they have more negative reviews than positive ones, it’s time to look for a new orthodontic option.
Visit The Orthodontist’s Office
A lot of your research to find the right orthodontist can be done online, but you’ll want to visit the practice in person before making your final decision. So much can be discovered about an orthodontist’s office by seeing it with your own eyes, and this step will help you figure out if you feel good about your choice or not.
Set up a time for an in-person consultation and ask for a little tour of the facilities. Look to see how many people are in the waiting room (this tells you how popular they are!) and if people seem comfortable. Also look to see if the office is clean, if the equipment is modern and updated, and if the atmosphere is calm.
It’s also important to get a feel for how the orthodontist and staff will treat you and your child.
Are they friendly and helpful? Do they seem to care about answering your questions and concerns? Paying attention to not just the physical office but also the people that make up the office will help you gather the most information.
Ask All Your Questions
Whether you’re visiting in person or talking with someone from the practice over the phone, make a list of all of the questions you want to be answered. Before having the conversation, check to see if any of your questions can be answered with information on the orthodontist’s website (and reading through the website may make you think of more questions, too!).
Some of the questions to ask can include:
- Will treatments be done by the orthodontist or assistants?
- How does the payment process work? Which insurances do you work with?
- Do you offer extended hours so we can come in before/after school or work?
- Do you charge for emergency appointments?
Don’t be afraid of asking too many questions. It’s natural to want the very best for your child and their smile, and the more information you have, the more prepared you’ll be to make the best decision.
Consult Multiple Offices
Even if you loved the first orthodontist office you visited for a consultation, it’s best to look into at least one or two others before deciding which one will be your child’s.
Not every orthodontist is the same, both in terms of the customer service and care they offer as well as the treatments available to you. By having a consultation and getting your questions answered by multiple practices, you can compare the pricing of each as well as the treatment time and different offerings to figure out which is the right fit.
Choose the Best Orthodontist in Cleveland for Your Child
Your child and their smile deserve the best treatment and care available. With a little bit of research and a few conversations, you can find an orthodontist who’s just right for your family.
If you’re looking for an orthodontist in Cleveland, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you achieve your best smile. Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you or your child.