A Guide to


Welcome to our guide on visiting an orthodontist. Whether you’re considering orthodontic treatment for yourself, your child, or a family member, this section serves as your roadmap, offering invaluable insights into what to expect as you begin your orthodontic journey.

Find an Orthodontist Specialist Near You!

Orthodontic treatment plays a vital role in improving overall dental health, and a confident smile can work wonders for your self-esteem. Visit a Texas orthodontic specialist to help you make the right decisions about your care, and you’ll be on the fast track to looking and feeling your best.

Experience matters

Guide on visiting an orthodontist


Why Should I Consider Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing and treating “bad bites” or malocclusion. Although most people associate the word with straight teeth and a beautiful smile, the purpose of orthodontic treatment goes deeper than simple aesthetics. The alignment of your teeth and jaw affects your dental hygiene, speech, sleep, and how you chew and digest food. A healthy bite is crucial for avoiding dental injuries and excessive wear and tear on your teeth.

The overarching goal of orthodontic treatment is for patients to have functional, well-aligned teeth and jaws that last a lifetime.

Remember: Straight teeth can positively impact your overall health and well-being!


Why Should I Choose an Orthodontic Specialist?

Choosing an orthodontic specialist ensures you receive comprehensive and specialized care tailored to your dental and facial alignment needs.

Orthodontists undergo extensive training beyond dental school, often through a two- to three-year residency program. They focus solely on diagnosing, preventing, and treating issues related to misaligned teeth and jaws. Their expertise in orthodontic treatments, such as braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances, allows them to effectively address complex alignment issues, improve bite function, and enhance overall dental health.

By choosing an orthodontic specialist, you’re investing in expertise, precision, and a personalized approach to achieving your desired straight, healthy smile.


When Should I Visit an Orthodontist?

If you or your child is experiencing any of the following issues, it’s time to make an appointment with a TAO orthodontist near you:

● Gaps between your teeth
● Crooked teeth
● An overbite, crossbite, or underbite
● Speech problems
● Pain while chewing
● Mouth breathing
● Clenching or grinding your teeth
● Sleep apnea
● Inability to comfortably close your lips
● Popping jaw
● Jaw pain or headaches

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children see an orthodontist around the age of seven with or without a referral from a pediatric dentist. During this stage, your child has a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, which makes it the perfect time to identify problem areas and provide any necessary intervention.

Orthodontists are specialists trained in the proper development of teeth and jaws, so they work in tandem with your dentist to ensure that your child’s smile is functional and healthy.


How to Choose an Orthodontist?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment in Texas, your first step will be to schedule a consultation with an orthodontic specialist. During this appointment, your orthodontist will evaluate your teeth and bite, discuss your goals and treatment options, and determine the best course of action for your specific case.
Finding the right orthodontist for you or your child is important to ensure successful treatment. Here are some steps you can take to make the process as smooth as possible:

Do your research:

  • Before you call the first number you find online, search our directory for orthodontists in your area. Some orthodontic specialists have distinct sub-specialties, so make sure to do your research.
  • Once you have a list of potential orthodontists, check out their websites and make some calls. Many offer a free diagnostic consultation.
  • You should choose the one that will work best with your schedule, budget, and specific needs.

Ask the right questions

On the phone before your visit

  • Should I bring dental records or X-rays to the appointment?
  • What payment options does your office offer?
    • Dental Insurance. Check to see if your dental insurance plan covers the cost of braces. Most orthodontic offices will help you determine your dental coverage.
    • Flexible Spending Account (FSA). If you have an FSA and/or HSA account, use it to help you pay for your braces.
    • Affordable Payment Plans. Your orthodontist can work with you to set up monthly payment plans so you do not have to pay for the entire treatment in full.

During your visit

  • What treatment options are available for my specific case?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • What is the cost of treatment and are there financing options available?
  • What is the maintenance and aftercare involved in orthodontic treatment?
  • What are the risks and benefits of treatment?
Glossary of common terms

This glossary covers many standard terms you may encounter during your orthodontic treatment and can help you better understand the treatment process. Do not hesitate to ask your orthodontist if you have any questions about your treatment or the terms she or he is using.

Orthodontic appliances consisting of brackets bonded to teeth and connected by wires, used to gradually move teeth into proper alignment.

Transparent plastic trays worn over teeth to gradually shift them into alignment, often used as an alternative to traditional braces.

A dental specialist who has received additional training in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, including misaligned teeth and jaws.

A misalignment of the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed, leading to an improper bite.

A condition where the upper front teeth overlap excessively over the lower front teeth when the jaw is closed.

A condition where the lower front teeth protrude in front of the upper front teeth when the jaw is closed.

A condition where one or more teeth are improperly aligned horizontally, either inside or outside the normal dental arch.

Molds or imprints of the teeth and jaws used by orthodontists to create custom appliances or treatment plans.

A removable or fixed orthodontic appliance worn after braces or aligner treatment to maintain teeth in their new positions.

Orthognathic Surgery:
Surgical procedures performed to correct severe jaw discrepancies or skeletal irregularities that cannot be addressed solely with orthodontic treatment.

Removal of one or more teeth as part of orthodontic treatment to create space or address overcrowding.

Small rubber bands attached to braces to exert additional force and aid in tooth movement.

A metal wire that is attached to brackets on the teeth to guide tooth movement during orthodontic treatment.

The process of removing brackets and adhesive from teeth after orthodontic treatment is completed.

The process of attaching brackets to teeth using a dental adhesive during the initial placement of braces.

Ceramic Braces:
Braces with brackets made of ceramic, which blends in with the natural color of teeth and provides a more aesthetic alternative to traditional metal braces.

Orthodontic Consultation:
An initial appointment with an orthodontist to evaluate the patient’s oral health, discuss treatment options, and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Abnormal Eruptions:
When a tooth emerges through gum tissue in the wrong place.

This occurs when teeth don’t have enough room to erupt from the gum.

Visit our blog for more information and resources to guide you and accompany you through your orthodontic journey.