Every year, more than 4 million Americans get braces.

About 75 percent of the people wearing braces today are teenagers. But there are also many adults turning to braces to straighten their teeth later in life.

If you want to see if braces would be a good option for you or your child, you’ll need to make an appointment with an orthodontist. And it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are about 13,500 orthodontists in the U.S. right now.

It’s important to figure out how to choose an orthodontist that’s right for you, though. Instead of simply Googling “orthodontists near me” and selecting the first one that pops up, do some homework to find a good fit for you and your family.

Here are 5 tips that will show you how to choose an orthodontist in your area.

1. Ask Your Dentist for Recommendations

At the start of your search, it’s a good idea to sit down with your dentist to see if they can recommend an orthodontist to you. Most dentists have working relationships with the orthodontists operating in their general area and would be happy to provide you with information on them.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re seeing your dentist on a regular basis prior to your first trip to the orthodontist. You don’t want to find out that you’ll need to delay orthodontic treatment due to lingering issues with your teeth.

During your next dental checkup, talk to your dentist about what kind of condition your teeth are in and see if they think you would be a good candidate for braces. They can tell you more about braces and how they might benefit you and give you the names of a few orthodontists in your area that they would trust.

2. Talk to Family Members and Friends About Their Orthodontists

Your dentist can serve as an invaluable resource when you’re trying to figure out how to choose an orthodontist. But you shouldn’t rely on just them to provide you with orthodontist recommendations.

Speak with your family members and friends, too, to see what they have to say about the orthodontists in your area. You more likely know at least a few people who have had braces for themselves or who have found an orthodontist to put braces on their child’s teeth.

Ask these people questions like:

  • Which orthodontist did you use?
  • How did you find them?
  • What did you enjoy about working with them?
  • Is there anything you didn’t like about them?
  • Were their prices reasonable, and did they offer some sort of payment plan?
  • Would you recommend them to me?

This is probably the most effective way to find an orthodontist.

Your dentist might have nothing but good things to say about an orthodontist. But chances are, they’ve never trusted that orthodontist to put braces on them or their child.

Your family members and friends, on the other hand, will have first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to work with orthodontists. They can give you the information you’ll need to determine if an orthodontist is right for you.

3. Read Online Reviews for Local Orthodontists

In a perfect world, you’ll be able to talk to a bunch of family members and friends who can shed light on the pros and cons of the different orthodontists in your area.

But in the event that you don’t know anyone who has or has had braces, there is still hope for you. The internet has made it easier than ever for people to get a glimpse of what it’s like to work with local orthodontists.

Conduct a Google search for orthodontists in your city or town and write down the names of about 10 of them. Then, use sites like Yelp and Facebook to browse through online reviews for each one of them.

As long as an orthodontist has been around for more than a few years now, they should have dozens of reviews available for you to read. These reviews can provide insight into each orthodontist in your area.

4. See Which Treatment Options Orthodontists Offer

You might be under the impression that all orthodontists offer the same basic treatment options. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are some orthodontists who swear by traditional braces and refuse to provide their patients with anything else. There are others who can set you up with options like Invisalign if you want.

If you have a treatment option in mind, look at different orthodontists’ websites to see which ones offer the option you’re thinking about using. The last thing you want to do is go through the process of tracking down an orthodontist only to find that they can’t help you.

While you’re checking out orthodontists’ websites, you should also make sure they cater to those in your age group. Some orthodontists work exclusively with children and teens, while others work with those of all ages.

5. Consider the Cost of Different Orthodontists

On average, people usually pay somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000 for braces. But that price can change depending on which orthodontist you use.

The way that you pay for braces can also change based on the orthodontist you choose. It’s important to see what kind of payment plans and financing options an orthodontist offers before agreeing to work with them.

Know How to Choose an Orthodontist Before Starting Your Search

As you can see, finding an orthodontist isn’t as simple as opening the phone book or running a quick Google search and calling the first orthodontist you see. You’ll need to do more than that when learning how to choose an orthodontist.

But all the time and effort that you put into it will be well worth it in the end when you find a reputable orthodontist in your area. They’ll be able to provide you with the treatment options you need at a price you can afford.

Would you like to see what would make us a good fit for you and your family? Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.