What to Know - Getting Braces from an Orthodontist Nearby

You shouldn’t feel fearful about getting braces. It’s easy to find a great orthodontist near you, and it is also easy to work out payment plans so you can get the braces you need at a price you can afford.

How to find an orthodontist nearby

Perhaps you might be thinking you don’t really need to get braces for your child, that straight teeth are just vanity. The thing is, crooked teeth mean it is harder to clean around them, so they are more likely to experience decay and possibly even need to be extracted. Also, bite alignment problems can mean that your child is not able to chew his or her food properly, and that can lead to digestion issues. Jaw alignment problems may also lead to pain in the jaw and tension in the main jaw joint, the TMJ.

Your child might also have speech issues because his or her teeth are not properly placed for the tongue to make contact with. By getting braces now, you can avoid a host of dental problems and other health issues down the road. But don’t worry if you are an adult and thinking about braces. As many as 20% of people wearing braces are adults.

There are a few things to consider when choosing an orthodontist

Your orthodontist should be board certified and have completed the necessary training beyond dental school to be an orthodontist. Your orthodontist nearby differs from a general dentist by going to school for an additional three years and specializing in things like the alignment of the jaws and overall facial structure.

Look for reviews and read patient testimonials to see what you might expect from your orthodontist. Check the website to read about your orthodontist and his or her staff. You can also look at search engine sites like Yelp or Google and see what people have rated their orthodontist.

There are a couple of national boards, the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Board of Orthodontics that you might see on plaques in your orthodontist’s office. This means that he or she meets the qualifications to be an orthodontist and also meets the additional standards of ethics and professionalism that the ABO or AAO require.

Look for an office with a staff that is friendly and welcoming. If you have decided you want to see a pediatric orthodontist nearby, you should find one that helps your kids relax and even enjoy the visits. Since you will be coming in every month, you will need to feel like this can be a place you can feel at home. Outstanding customer service is a must!

The office should be modern with state of the art equipment and digital X-rays. It’s a convenient bonus if you can find one that shares a space with a dental office, but that’s not a requirement. What should be required is if they have convenient hours and a location that is easy to get to and also has sufficient parking.

Having braces from a nearby orthodontist

Perhaps you were told your child has an overbite and needs to have braces to correct it, or maybe you have crooked teeth that need to be straightened. Braces are very common in kids any more, as nearly ¾ of kids have some sort of a bite alignment issue.

The AAO recommends that kids get their first orthodontist appointment by age seven. This gives the orthodontist a chance to see how the teeth are situated now, and what they might do as the child grows. It also gives them time to correct some bite issues when the child is young so that the adult teeth can grow in correctly. Dentists and orthodontists can work together to make sure your child gets off on the right foot for his or her lifetime of dental care.

There are several issues that can be corrected by braces. Overbites, crossbites, underbites, and open bites are all types of malocclusions, or misalignment of the teeth. Crooked teeth can be caused by a number of issues. Sometimes they are hereditary, while others are caused by trauma to the jaw. Another reason for crooked teeth is overcrowding. An orthodontist nearby can correct this in a number of ways. He or she can put in a palate expander to help make the upper jaw wider and then give the adult teeth more room to grow in. The bones in the jaw are not done growing yet, so this is the perfect time to start treatment and get that healthy smile.

Gaps between the teeth can be caused by missing teeth or genetics, and they are called diastema. They can often be helped by braces that close the gaps, or your orthodontist will work in conjunction with your dentist to create partial dentures, bridges, or implants to fill in the space where the tooth was missing and then have the braces do the rest.

If you have younger children who need braces, you should consider a pediatric orthodontist. This is a type of orthodontist nearby who has some additional training to be able to know how to work with kids and correct any issues with their teeth and jaws. That’s not to say they won’t take any adult or teen patients who are in the same family, but their specialty is in working with kids. The waiting areas often have play zones or game consoles to keep the kids occupied and give all that energy a place to go.

The most common kind of braces are the traditional metal braces that are comprised of brackets that are affixed to the front of the teeth and then are connected by a metal wire called an arch wire before having the wire secured by tiny little rubber bands.

Other appliances you might need include headgear. These attach to tiny tubes on the brackets towards the back and help bring the jaws into alignment. Though in past years kids often had to wear them all the time, most of the time now they are only worn at night.

Then there are clear aligners. They will cost about the same as traditional braces do, or just a little more, but you might actually see your orthodontist less often. That’s because the trays are built based on a plan devised from your impressions taken at your first visit, and they work more gently than braces do. There are some definite advantages to them. They are clear, so no one will really notice that you are wearing them. They can be taken out for eating and brushing your teeth, so it is much easier to keep them clean. However, they might not be covered at all by dental insurance, and they can’t correct as many things as braces can.

You will need to see your orthodontist nearby every four weeks or so to have the braces checked and tightened. Most people will wear braces for two years but some may get their braces off in as little as a year, while others will have to wear them for three to four years. It all depends on how much work has to be done. You will be able to learn more at your first consultation. Everyone is unique and everyone will have a slightly different treatment plan. Your orthodontist will be able to assess your needs and create a specific plan just for you or your child.

While you have your braces on, you will want to be sure that you take good dental orthodontic care of your teeth. You will want to visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning as part of an overall dental care program. Every day, you will want to brush your teeth after every meal to get any loose particles of food removed. You will need to floss every day also.

There are some foods you should avoid while you have braces on, too. Sticky candies and hard foods like carrots, corn on the cob, whole apples, some nuts, and ice cubes will need to be put on hold for a couple of years so you don’t end up damaging or breaking your brackets. Soft foods are all just fine, and may even feel good after you get your braces tightened. Mashed potatoes and applesauce are ideal.

After you get your braces on, or whenever you get them tightened, you may feel some soreness in your teeth. This is normal as it means that your teeth are moving into their new positions. You can rinse with warm salt water (don’t swallow it – it will not taste very good!). Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help. Should the brackets or wire irritate your cheeks you can use some wax from the orthodontist over the brackets to help smooth things out. Retainers are used at the end of treatment to help make sure the teeth stay put.


Amazing experience! I’ve had my braces for 6 month now and I’m impressed of how much my teeth have changed. No pain at all. Dr. Ivanov is such a sweet person and very professional, he knows what he’s doing and always cares for patients personal concerns. Highly recommended!

Tula Garcia

Dr. Ivanov was amazing. When I first got my braces I was scared it was going to last 4yrs for my teeth to look better but it only lasted 2yrs and the results are beyond amazing. I’m really happy with everything and would absolutely recommend him to anyone. Thank you so much.

Kimberly Martinez

Very good experience. The attention was great. The doctor is very punctual and they don’t make you wait, which for my busy schedule is super important. Also, the time the doctor told me I had to wear the braces was the exact time I needed and I was very happy with the results. Definitely recommend him.

Laura Jimenez

Dr. Ivanov was amazing. He was very understanding and took the time to explain, every step of the process for my daughters braces. I am proud to say with great care her braces were finally removed and the end result is the beautiful smile she now has. Thank you

Christina Jenkins

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Ways to pay for your braces

There’s no doubt about it, braces can be expensive. Regular metal braces can run $3,000 – $7,000, while ceramic or clear braces will be a bit more costly, ranging from $4,000 – $8,000. Ceramic braces will be a bit more expensive but they have the advantage of being nearly invisible. Lingual braces are affixed to the back side of the teeth so they are essentially completely hidden but not everyone can get them, and they are also the most expensive kind, costing between $7,000 – $10,000.

To start with, your first consultation with the nearby orthodontist should be free. Many orthodontists on that first visit will include X-rays and an evaluation. At that time, you can go over the various options with your orthodontist to see what will be the most affordable option as well as what will be the best one for your oral health needs. If you go ahead and schedule treatment, a set of impressions will be taken so that your orthodontist can have a way to build your braces or aligners.

If you have insurance, you might be able to get part of the cost of your child’s braces covered. This coverage goes up to age 18. Generally speaking adult dental insurance does not cover braces, but this is changing, so be sure to review your policy or ask your benefits department. Most policies that do provide orthodontic coverage give about 50% of the total cost up to a policy max of $1,500.

Medicaid is another option for paying for braces for either children or teens. Medicaid covers any orthodontic treatments that are deemed “medically necessary”.

You can also ask at the office about programs like Care Credit that help you pay for your braces over time. It’s like a no-interest credit card that helps you make expensive medical and dental services more budget-friendly by giving you a reasonable monthly amount. Regular credit cards are often accepted as well.

Another way to pay for braces is through Tricare, the health and dental insurance plan for military members and their families. Just like with Medicaid, it provides coverage for braces that are orthodontist recommended as being medically necessary.

Almost every orthodontist will offer you payment plans to help break up the cost of braces and make it more budget-friendly. By taking the cost of braces and breaking it up into smaller bits, it is much more manageable.

There is always cash and some places will even offer a cash discount because they don’t have to pay any credit card fees, so they pass that savings along to you.

Your orthodontist’s office staff will be glad to help you sort out your payment options and also help you file for any claims with Tricare or Medicaid you might be eligible for.

Summing it up

Getting braces is a great way to straighten teeth and get your jaws into proper alignment. It’s such a confidence booster to have a beautiful smile, and you will be able to have healthy teeth for life. Working with your orthodontist nearby will be the best thing you can do for your oral health!

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