Visiting your child’s orthodontist for the first time is a great opportunity for you to get to know the ortho team, treatment options, timelines, cost, and so forth. But knowing what to expect and what questions to ask is tough - especially if you don’t have any personal experience with braces or other orthodontic treatments to reference.
The following information and questions can help you feel prepared and ready to help your child smoothly transition into this new phase of oral health.
What to Expect
The first visit is a consultation. After the welcome greeting, there will be a discussion of your goals for treatment - and what brought you in in the first place. Then the orthodontist will perform an initial exam to determine what type of orthodontic needs your child may have. If you have your x-rays and records from the dentist, bring them with you. Otherwise, x-rays may be taken during the consultation, if necessary, to determine treatment options.
A treatment plan will be developed that will best fit your child's needs. The cost and timeline of treatment will be discussed as well. And, when you are ready to move forward, the first series of appointments will be scheduled.
Questions to Ask at the Orthodontic Consultation
During your consultation, you will have an opportunity to ask the orthodontist questions. Here are 7 that you won’t want to forget.
- At what age is the right age to start orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can begin as early as 7 years of age. This type of treatment won’t likely involve braces, but it can include some early orthodontic treatments that can reduce the need for extensive orthodontic treatment in a few years.
The orthodontist will review your child’s needs and let you know if treatment should commence now or if it would be best to wait a couple of years.
- What are the options for treatment? What are the pros/cons of each? Which one do you consider the best option?
There are many available options for orthodontic treatment. The selection of potential treatments will be highly personalized based on need.
- How often will office appointments be required?
Different treatment options have different timelines and frequency of appointments. Knowing just how involved each treatment is can help you narrow down which will best fit your schedule.
- What lifestyle changes will need to be made for the selected treatment option?
Sometimes lifestyle changes can be tough on children, especially when it comes to changing routines, habits, and the consumption of certain foods. Certain kids can handle this better than others. Knowing your child and the options at hand, you can make a more informed decision.
- Do you have any before/after photos of someone with similar needs and treatment?
An orthodontist works with teeth and sees the results of these procedures every day. Being able to visually see how the treatment works can also benefit your decision. And don’t ever hesitate to ask this question - orthodontics love to show off these photos.
- How much does the treatment cost? And what is included in that cost?
This is an important question. Orthodontic treatment can be expensive. Sometimes insurance may cover it or financing may be necessary, but if you have a limit on what you can afford, this could play a big role in the selected treatment option.
- What happens if the timeline is more or less than the estimate?
Treatment timelines are always an estimate - and they may be shorter or longer depending on how well your teeth are reacting to the treatment. It is important to know whether or not the length of treatment will require more or fewer fees down the road.
Show up prepared for your child’s consultation. Write down these questions - and any other ones you have - and bring them with you. And when you are ready to get started, Las Cruces Orthodontics is waiting to welcome you.