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Have you ever wondered what your orthodontist is REALLY thinking when he or she tells you “your teeth are looking great”? Here are five things that orthodontists generally wish they could say to their patients every time they visit:

1. “It’s not as expensive as you think.” – Most parents dread the cost of braces – and their dread is rightly so – but orthodontists have tried their best to make braces more affordable. Sit down with your orthodontist and see what plans are available in order to minimize the cost of your child’s braces.

2. “Follow-through is necessary.” – Follow your orthodontist’s instructions exactly on how to care for your teeth while you wear your braces. When you get your braces off, you will probably have a retainer you will wear nightly, and following the instructions given by your orthodontist is crucial to the success or failure of your teeth-straightening regimen.

3. “It’s Not All About Looks.” – Braces are not meant to make a “fashion statement,” rather they are to perform a healing process. Wearing braces affects the long-term health of your bone and gums.

4. “Missing Appointments Hurts Progress.” – You may feel like you’re always going to the orthodontist office, but it is important to keep these appointments in order to get your braces off in the scheduled amount of time.

5. “Don’t try to Fix Your Teeth Yourself.”– With the development of the Internet comes thousands of tutorials on do-it-yourself techniques in many subjects. Don’t use these techniques to try to fix any mouth problems yourself – some have lost teeth doing so. Always see a dentist or an orthodontist for help in fixing any tooth problems.