If you’ve ever wondered what you would look like with an improved smile, the holidays are a great excuse to give yourself the gift of gorgeous straight teeth. It’s a present that’s worth the investment. In a new national survey, Americans ranked a smile as the No. 1 physical trait when it comes to making a good first impression¹. The survey also found that less than half of adults are confident with their smile¹.
But don’t skimp on the homework! Many people spend less than an hour researching their treatment options, according to the survey¹, which was conducted by Ormco, an orthodontic products company. Going for a quick fix might be risky. It’s a decision that can impact your appearance as well as your long-term health. Here are three common mistakes people make when they’re investing in a teeth-straightening treatment, plus advice to help you shop smarter.
Mistake No. 1: Not choosing the best treatment for you.
When I was a kid fixing your teeth meant having to suffer through painful extractions, in many cases, followed by years of wearing a mouthful of metal and rubber bands, and maybe even orthodontic headgear. Advancements in technology have resulted in new options that can give you a gorgeous smile in less time and with less discomfort.* Which do you choose? Ads for clear aligners are everywhere, making it easy to click and pick that option. But aligners are not all created equal. They’re also not for everyone, and the best option for you may be a treatment you’ve never even heard of. It pays to do your research and learn the pros and cons of different options and consult with an orthodontist. A great place to start your research and find a doctor is at HealthySmileIQ.com.
Mistake No. 2: Skipping the orthodontist.
On average, 70 percent of adults don’t think today’s orthodontic treatments are customized¹. The truth is that an orthodontist customizes each treatment plan to the patient’s specific needs. Not all treatments produce the same smile results, and not all doctors offer the same treatments or have the same skills and experience. Orthodontists are specialists with thousands of hours of training, and creating a great smile may require more than straightening crooked teeth. Orthodontists can enhance facial symmetry and profiles, jaw lines, and cheek structure, and improve the appearance of the chin and lips. They can even help adults age more gracefully by better supporting facial tissue around the mouth². Orthodontists also use cutting edge orthodontic products like the Damon System, which can broaden the arc of teeth to create a bigger, wider smile.
Mistake No. 3: Thinking you can’t afford it.
Teeth-straightening treatments are a big investment however you slice it, but don’t assume you can’t cover the costs. You might be able to get help paying for a treatment using your insurance and/or a flexible spending plan, for example. Also ask your doctor about payment plans and other financing options and see if you can qualify for a discount.
¹ Propeller Research, "healthy Smile IQ" poll of 1,001 US consumers, September 14-17, 2019.
² Dr. Stuart Frost. The Artist Orthodontist. Creating An Artistic Smile Is More Than Just Straightening Teeth. August 2018.
*Data on file with Ormco
Disclaimer: Lisa Lee Freeman is a paid spokesperson for Ormco Corporation. The opinions express in this blog are those of Lisa Lee Freeman. Ormco is a medical device manufacturer and does not dispense medical advice. Consumers should seek the advice of an orthodontist.