You probably don’t think that much about teeth and how they look until something is astray. We tend to notice those people who have “bad teeth” that are crooked or not well taken care of just as much as we recognize that someone is wearing braces. But while we retreat from the former, we hesitantly embrace the latter. Perhaps there is something about orthodontists that reminds us too much of childhood dental visits, or it may be that humans are always one step behind improving themselves.

This article will act as a guide for how to choose the perfect orthodontic specialist for you. Not just someone who will give you the choice between braces and Invisalign, but someone who will comprehensively give you the best information for how to achieve your perfect look while keeping your oral health. If you think they’re a needle in a haystack, think again.

Pay Attention to Online Reviews, but Not Too Much Attention

When seeking out an orthodontic specialist, we tend to shop for professionals the same way that we shop for physical goods these days: browsing online. Since many orthodontists have websites where they showcase their services and office, this only makes sense. Every so often, you will come across third-party sites that offer “reviews” of different orthodontists and the type of care they give. These are always tempting to read, but must be taken with a grain of salt. One person’s bad experience does not equal a terrible practice, and a glowing review may also be from a family member or friend who has never stepped foot in the office.

Visit and Talk with Them

Instead of putting all of your faith into some 5-star or 1-star review that you’ve seen someplace on the internet, schedule a preliminary visit to the orthodontist so that you can have your mouth examined and talk with them. The one that you visit may enlighten you that they cannot help you at all and instead recommend you to an orthodontic specialist nearby for a certain treatment. They may not be taking on new patients, or be temporarily understaffed for the time being. You will never get a true feel and interaction with an orthodontist until you visit them in their domain.

Get a Second Opinion

You may find one orthodontic specialist that seems perfect for you, only to visit another that gives you a completely contradictory opinion. In this case, not only do you not know who to believe, but you may have to give your original orthodontist a call and figure out what’s what. If they are willing to be honest and discuss the matter with you professionally, you can be relatively certain that they might be the orthodontic specialist for you. If they don’t like having their opinion challenged or dislike talking to patients about methods of treatment, then they’re probably not the perfect fit for you.

In Due Time, You Will Find the Perfect One

It can be tough to find an orthodontic specialist that is the right fit for you and meets your oral health goals. While some people have complicated mouths that may even require oral surgery or years of braces, others simply want to improve their cosmetics for the short term. It’s worth it to do either because many patients report a huge boost in self-esteem from their treatment. In fact, 47% of Invisalign users surveyed had a boost of self-esteem in the process of treatment compared to just 22% of those with metal braces. Finding the right orthodontist and knowing what you want is sure to bring you results that make you happy.