Did you know that roughly 4 million Americans under 18 wear braces? Orthodontists estimate that approximately 45% of children need braces to fix functional problems like misaligned bites. Likewise, experts believe 75% of children could benefit from straightening their teeth with braces. 

Whether it’s for braces or other orthodontic care, it’s crucial to know the best orthodontist near me. The trouble is discovering which orthodontist to visit. 

Most areas have multiple orthodontic offices available. So, how can you narrow down your choices? 

You can find the answer to this question in this guide! We’ll explore what considerations to explore to find the best orthodontic treatment. 

The Best Orthodontist Should Be a Specialist

This point may seem obvious, but it’s more challenging to find a specialist than people think. The confusion generally lies in the name.

There is a difference between an orthodontist and a dentist that does orthodontics. First, an orthodontist returns to school for 24-36 months of full-time orthodontic training. 

During this time, an orthodontist will study how to correct bad smiles and bites. Orthodontic specialty programs are highly competitive; many orthodontic residents graduated at the top of their dental school class. 

Orthodontists also receive training and skillsets necessary for challenging cases. While basic dental services may provide orthodontic care, they have a more general knowledge. Complex issues could prove to be more than they can handle. 

So, how can you verify whether your orthodontist is a specialist? Usually, you can find them online. The American Board of Orthodontics website lists the orthodontists who became board certified. 

It’s always wise to ask your orthodontist two questions. First, ask if they are a specialist. Second, ask how long their specialty training was. 

If the orthodontist did not receive at least two years of additional training, they are not a specialist. That can help you move on to another candidate. 

Look for Recommendations From Dentists

The next step in finding the best Fort Pierce orthodontist is to ask your dentist for a referral. Dental services often work with orthodontists to ensure their patients receive the best oral care available. As such, dentists can often tell which orthodontists in the area provide the best care. 

But it’s better to get a recommendation from an oral surgeon. There are a few reasons for this. 

First, general dentists often provide orthodontic care themselves. Although many of them will gladly recommend you to more qualified orthodontists, some may try to convince you to receive your care from them. After all, that puts more money in their pockets.

In other cases, general dentists may build professional relationships with particular orthodontists as they work with patients. Although it’s good for dentists to work well with colleagues, sometimes they recommend patients to their buddies instead of better orthodontists. 

You can get around these issues by getting an oral surgeon’s referral. Oral surgeons work with all the orthodontists in their area. As such, a Fort Pierce oral surgeon can point out the best orthodontist for your needs. 

Look for Patient Recommendations

Dental professionals can point you toward the most skilled orthodontists. However, they don’t always know how that orthodontist works with patients. Sometimes, professionals have incredible technical skills and terrible people skills. 

That’s why it’s helpful to ask other patients for their recommendations. You likely know another parent who’s taken their children to the orthodontist. So, ask around to see who they recommend. 

Here are some questions you can ask to start your search:

  • How well did this orthodontist communicate with you?
  • Did their staff treat you well?
  • Did the office run efficiently?
  • Do they work well with children? 

These questions can help you decide whether this orthodontist will be a good match. From there, you can move on to the next question. 

Do They Have Experience with Children?

Interestingly, US adults are receiving orthodontic care in record numbers. However, despite the increase in adult patients, most orthodontic patients are under 18.

While most orthodontic patients remain minors, that doesn’t mean orthodontists have much experience with children. The majority of orthodontic patients are teenagers. 

As such, many orthodontic offices have little experience with smaller children. This inexperience can become an issue if your child requires orthodontic care. 

Children sometimes have orthodontic needs that are unique to their age group. They may also require treatments that accommodate their ages and current dental development. 

Orthodontists who have worked with children previously can assist with this treatment. So, ask your orthodontist if they have experience with children and how much. Have they treated issues that happen more frequently with kids?

If so, excellent! The next step can be the final one in deciding which orthodontist is best for your orthodontic needs. 

Visit the Orthodontist’s Office

All of our tips until this point have focused on your orthodontist’s qualifications. However, there’s one final consideration to explore before settling on an orthodontist. That consideration is whether their office seems like a positive environment. 

Sometimes, a brilliant orthodontist may have a chaotic office. The staff is unorganized and weak at responding to patients’ questions.

Alternatively, their office environment may seem dull and uninviting. This issue can be especially problematic for bringing children to the office. 

So, check the office out in person. Does it seem well-organized? 

Also, consider how this environment looks to children. Does it seem like a bright and open place for kids? Or does it seem like it could be off-putting and frightening to children?

Search For the Best Orthodontist in Fort Pierce Today

These considerations can help you find the best orthodontist in Fort Pierce. So, start with the essentials. Determine whether your prospective orthodontist is a qualified specialist. 

Then, see what professionals and patients think of this orthodontist. Then, decide if they have an environment that suits your needs.

As a Fort Pierce orthodontic office, we humbly suggest starting your search with us! Our orthodontists have the qualifications necessary to treat your orthodontic needs.

We also offer some of the best Invisalign care in the area. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, so contact us today!