What is an orthodontist?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school in order to learn not only how to straighten and align teeth but to provide an optimal bite as a foundation for oral health. Only specialists with this formal education and additional training are considered orthodontists.

What is board certification?

Only 1 in 3 orthodontists achieve Board Certification.  The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) certification process is a significant step even beyond the two to three years of advanced education required for a dentist to become an orthodontic specialist.  The process requires the orthodontist to demonstrate actual accomplishments in patient care and is a voluntary achievement that is not pursued by all orthodontists.  The process of board certification involves an interview by a highly respected panel of examiners to demonstrate their clinical skills and judgment and their knowledge of the field of orthodontics.

When should my child see an orthodontist?

We recommend that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. By this age, we can spot any problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while your child still has some baby teeth present. This is important because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re found early and before all the permanent teeth have erupted.  Most orthodontic patients will begin active treatment between ages 9 and 14.
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