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    When to See an Orthodontist

    What orthodontists do, how to choose one, and what you may pay.

    Choosing an Orthodontist

    To get her son’s teeth straightened, Henson asked family and friends for recommendations. She then interviewed three orthodontists. She decided to use her son’s doctor for her own braces because she liked her son’s treatment plan and the results - well, they made her smile.

    The orthodontist also offered a family discount. And his office was convenient. That was a big plus for Henson, since she has appointments every six weeks.

    Heller recommends asking how easy it is to schedule appointments. Whether a practice is right for you has a lot to do with the personality of the orthodontist and how good you feel when you’re there.

    “The way the office runs and the way the patient is treated can vary quite a bit based on the practice’s philosophy, the personality of the doctor and how friendly the staff is,” Heller says.

    Consultation First

    Many orthodontists offer free or low-cost consultations. Rogers’ is 45 minutes long. It includes a panoramic X-ray that gives a full-mouth view, photographs, and a medical history.

    Among other things, he measures how wide a patient can open her mouth and whether there’s jaw muscle tenderness or clicking, which may indicate grinding. He also measures the protrusion (how much teeth are jutting out) and crowding of the teeth.

    Before they leave, patients get an estimate of treatment cost, length, and goals.

    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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    Never
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    Good
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    Better
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    You are currently

    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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