What Has 24 Years in Orthodontics Taught Me?
Posted by Hinsdale Ortho | Ortho Tips
Not many people can say that they have been in the orthodontic field for 24 years, but I am someone who can!
I started working in ortho when I was 19 years old. I was going to college full time at Northwestern for Business Management while also working full time for an Orthodontist in Oak Lawn. I was also raising my first daughter! Life was crazy and hectic.
My plan at the time was to just work in ortho until I finished my degree, then go into business. However, that was not in the bigger plan that God had for me. I ended up falling in love with orthodontic practices!
When I first started working in this industry, I came to love how kids and adults alike would come into the office nervous, scared and even embarrassed about their smiles, but by the end of treatment, they would have the biggest, proudest, most genuine smile on their faces. It was intoxicating and brought warmth to my heart! This, I guess, is when I became addicted to it! Nothing has made me happier than to see this type of transformation time and time again. I couldn’t be prouder and happier with the choice I made all those years ago to stick with being an orthodontist!
Most don’t understand how important it is to come to regular appointments with your orthodontist office. This is not only to ensure that you are on track with your treatment but it is also so that we can make sure that everything that we did at your last appointment is working as it should. That includes wire adjustments, band adjustments, or the next set of clear aligners! We do not want you to miss a bunch of appointments and then things either have stopped working or have over worked and created different issues for you.
Time is one of the very few things that we can’t get back and is extremely valuable to everyone. No one likes to have to wait long periods of time when you have made an appointment with the practicing doctor and staff. When people show up late it takes away time from our other patients and ultimately we may end up without the time needed for us to do a complete appointment for you as well. Please be respectful of other people’s time and talents and they will be respectful of yours.
When a patient has broken brackets or attachments it is important for you to let your orthodontic office know before your emergency appointment. In order to fix their brackets we need to know ahead of time what is broken so that we can make sure we allow ourselves enough time to do the “extra” procedures along with your regular appointment check up. There is no need to be embarrassed or scared to call us and tell us that something broke. These types of things happen all the time and it’s not a big deal. We’re going to fix you up! Your broken brackets are not the end of the world!
It can be a great relief to finally not have to go back to the Orthopedic office when your child is done with their treatments! But there are a few things that you do need to be aware of! Be sure once all the treatments are completed, whether it be braces or aligners, make absolutely sure that you, or your child, wears your retainers! Everything shifts ever so slightly throughout the aging process, and your teeth are no different. If you want to keep your teeth straight and beautiful for the rest of your life you must wear a retainer. Does that mean it has to be 24/7? No! We advise our patients to wear retainers as close to 24/7 as possible for the first 6 weeks and then only at night. Once you have worn them for about 5+ years or you are around 23 years old or so you can then reduce that to 3 nights a week. Wearing your retainer will help remind your teeth “where home is”. These rules are mostly for kids. For adults, we advise nightly for a few years then 3 nights a week. These are not hard and fast rules, but these are the simplest way we find that teeth can stay straight for a lifetime with the least amount of impact to your daily life.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed learning about my journey and knowledge that I have learned over the last 24 years of experience! If you, or someone you know is in need or wants a smile worth sharing with everyone, give us a call today to schedule your free consultation! Hope to see you at our office soon!