10 Tips on Choosing the Right Family Orthodontist

  Mar 20, 2024
Reviewed by Geeta Singh

Key Takeaways

  • During the time you search for the right orthodontist, the best idea is to consult a family doctor for recommendations as they will have a clearer record of some professionals whom they know.
  • The majority of orthodontists are able to do traditional braces, Invisalign clear aligners, palatal expanders, retainers, TMJ treatment, surgical orthodontics, and more.
  • When making the right decision for an orthodontist, consider asking them what measures they take in emergency cases. 

Choosing the right orthodontist for your family is one of the most paramount healthcare decisions you can make. Orthodontic treatment plays a vital role in promoting proper dental health, function, and aesthetics, not just for your kids but for all family members. 

It does not matter if you are looking to correct crooked teeth, close gaps, or alleviate jaw pain, finding an orthodontist who is experienced, qualified, and caters to the unique needs of each family member is necessary. 

Did you know that in Fresno County, 92.5% of children had a dental visit within the past 12 months? This is commendable when compared to the state average, which stands at 89.5%. With this in mind, making informed choices in dental health care becomes even more vital.

Read on for eleven tips to help you select the perfect orthodontist for your family’s oral care needs. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can find an exceptional doctor you trust to provide personalized, high-quality orthodontic treatment for your entire family.

Family Orthodontist

Consider Their Location and Accessibility

When researching orthodontists, prioritize ones that are conveniently located for your family. Look for offices close to your home or your children’s schools with plenty of nearby parking. This makes fitting appointments into busy schedules much easier. In a city as vast as Fresno, California, the largest in the Central Valley and the heart of the 6,000 square mile Fresno County, accessibility becomes all the more primary. 

So, whereas a convenient location is paramount, make sure that you also do some research on the quality of service of your shortlisted orthodontists so that you can get the best orthodontic treatment in Fresno for you and your family. With Fresno County having a rate of 63 dentists per 100,000 population, there are quite a few to choose from. Therefore, choose wisely.

Always ensure the orthodontist you’re considering has flexible hours, including early morning, evening, and weekend slots. Remember, choosing an easily accessible orthodontist with a sterling reputation ensures your family receives both convenient and top-notch care.

Verify Credentials and Experience

orthodontics patient

The next one of the main steps is thoroughly verifying the orthodontist’s credentials, training, and hands-on experience treating patients across all age groups. Look for an orthodontist who is board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, which indicates they have completed several additional years of specialized orthodontic education beyond dental school. This advanced certification demonstrates their expertise in the field. 


Statistics: Here is the graph that shows the number of dentists in each state of the United States of America as of 2020.

Also, choose a doctor who has at least 5-10 years of experience successfully providing a wide variety of orthodontic treatments to diverse patients. An experienced orthodontist will have in-depth knowledge and be highly skilled at creating customized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique orthodontic needs and goals.

Evaluate Their Treatment Philosophy

treatment philosophy

Schedule initial consultations with two or three orthodontists to evaluate and compare their treatment philosophies. The right orthodontist will take ample time to explain all your family’s treatment options in detail, address any concerns transparently, and welcome all questions. 

They should clearly outline their overall approach to orthodontic care, such as focusing on less invasive methods, shortening treatment times, using the latest technologies, or prioritizing gentle, pain-free procedures. Make sure their treatment philosophy and priorities align closely with your family’s orthodontic goals and comfort levels before moving forward.

Consider the Range of Services Offered

Look for an orthodontist who provides the full spectrum of orthodontic services your family may need now and in the future under one roof. Many orthodontic practices offer a comprehensive range, including traditional braces, Invisalign clear aligners, palatal expanders, retainers, TMJ treatment, surgical orthodontics, and more. 

Having an orthodontist who can provide any orthodontic treatment needed by various family members makes coordinating everyone’s care much smoother.

Evaluate Their Bedside Manner

 orthodontist manner

Since orthodontic treatment often spans several years, you want an orthodontist who exhibits an excellent bedside manner, especially with younger patients. Look for warm, compassionate doctors who know how to put kids at ease from the moment they enter the exam room. They should explain all procedures in a patient, kid-friendly way and make the overall experience fun and comfortable for children. 

An ideal orthodontist will have a kind, gentle approach and take time to answer questions thoroughly in terms kids understand. Also, ensure they are patient, attentive listeners who address all of your concerns as a parent.

Assess Their Office Environment

office environment

Schedule a consultation to tour their office and personally assess the environment. Look for a clean, modern office with friendly and professional staff members. Kid-friendly orthodontists often have play areas, TVs, or complimentary snacks in the waiting room to help relax children before appointments. 

Also, closely consider their office location, parking availability, and hours of operation to find one that works seamlessly with your family’s schedule. Offices near schools or homes with flexible hours remove scheduling obstacles.

Ask About Emergency Protocols

Find out what their protocols are for handling orthodontic emergencies that may arise outside regular office hours. Many orthodontists provide emergency after-hours phone numbers and next-day appointment slots to promptly resolve issues like loose wires or broken brackets. 

Ask how they handle emergencies to ensure your family receives timely care. Also, inquire about their process for progress checks and adjustments during treatment. Do they schedule regular appointment intervals to monitor progress and make small adjustments as needed? Detailed ongoing care helps achieve the best possible outcome.

Learn About Retention and Maintenance

An experienced orthodontist will thoroughly educate you about the importance of retention and maintenance after active orthodontic treatment. This includes wearing retainers exactly as directed and coming in for periodic retention check-ups even after the smile is straightened. 

Verify that they offer long-term retention services, often several years, to help you maintain your family’s beautiful new smiles. Choosing an orthodontist who stresses the need for retention helps safeguard your investment in orthodontic care.

Review Costs and Payment Plans

When comparing orthodontists, carefully evaluate costs and payment plans. Whereas cost should not be the only deciding factor, do look for orthodontists who offer reasonable fees and flexible financing options. Many allow you to divide treatment costs into more affordable monthly installments. 

Be sure to confirm which orthodontic services are covered under your dental insurance plan and what out-of-pocket expenses you can expect. Ask each orthodontist to provide a complete cost breakdown before deciding.

Check Reviews and Recommendations

Read online reviews and ask your family dentist, pediatrician, or friends for orthodontist recommendations. This can provide valuable insight into the orthodontist’s level of experience, quality of care, patient rapport, and more. Look for orthodontists who have a proven track record of successful treatment outcomes, positive patient experiences, and glowing reviews. An orthodontist recommended by other healthcare providers is often a safe bet.


Finding the ideal orthodontist is necessary to ensure your whole family receives high-quality, customized orthodontic care. By researching their credentials, treatment options, office environment, and patient rapport, you can identify the doctor who is the best fit. Taking the time to carefully evaluate local orthodontists will give you confidence you have selected a caring, experienced provider you can trust to enhance your family’s oral health and smiles for years to come.