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A great smile can certainly boost a person’s self-esteem. While many people want visibly straighter teeth, that often requires a trip to the local orthodontist.

When choosing an orthodontist near you, there are a number of things to consider. While there are thousands practicing in the U.S., they each vary in their specific treatments. To find an orthodontist that best suits your needs, you should take note of the following questions:

How much experience do they have? While newly accredited orthodontists are often very skilled, many people choose to see a specialist with more experience. How long has this doctor been in practice? What is his or her success rate? Where did he or she receive his or her training? These are all important things to ask the office when you call to set up a consultation.

What services do they provide? There are many different types of braces to choose from. While traditional metal brackets and wires are the go-to for many, teens especially feel uncomfortable with these types of highly visible braces.

In fact, 92 percent of teens feel that metal braces would prevent them from fitting in and feel more comfortable wearing clear aligners to straighten their teeth without any distracting hardware.

Do they offer pediatric services? It is recommended that children see an orthodontist no later than age seven. This allows problems to be resolved early, reducing the amount of time the child will need to wear braces in the future or eliminate the need for braces altogether!

Are they affiliated with any other dental professionals or clinics? In case of dental emergencies, it is ideal that you will be able to be easily referred to specialists that the orthodontist trusts. If they are not affiliated with another practice, ask for recommendations before you have an emergency.

How much will braces cost? An investment in your smile is a worthy one, but the price tag often causes individuals to put orthodontic treatment on hold. Ask the orthodontist if they work with insurance providers or other health savings programs. Some practices even offer flexible financing options so you can pay for your braces at a rate that works best for you.

Ultimately, when choosing an orthodontist, you’re looking for someone that your trust. Graber Orthodontics is a family-run office with a long tradition of fitting braces in Chicago.

The father-daughter team of Drs. Lee and Katie Graber, as well as Dr. Kelley Gyllenhaal, is personable, community-oriented, and will help you build a more beautiful smile.