Myth #1

“For medical needs, you need a referral from your family doctor to see a specialist. Therefore for braces, you must need a referral from your family dentist to see an orthodontist”.

Incorrect. Orthodontists do not require a referral from a general dentist (or other) to schedule an appointment on your behalf. CAO members make every effort to be available to anyone who wishes to discuss their treatment options.  Orthodontists encourage the public to contact their offices directly either by telephone or online. The CAO maintains a doctor directory and there is a “doctor locator” on the CAO homepage to help you find an orthodontist in your area.

Myth #2

“Orthodontic treatment is very expensive”

Incorrect.  Orthodontists treat a variety of cases that vary in complexity from relatively simple to extremely complex. Therefore not all treatments require the same financial investment. The advantage of speaking with a specialist is that he or she can provide you with the insight regarding the complexity of your case and can explain all treatment options that are available to you.

Before initiating any treatment, a trusted CAO specialist will first have a consult with you to specifically address your needs and to discuss financial concerns. Many CAO members provide a variety of payment options including extended payment plans.

Myth #3

“I’m too old. Braces are for kids and teenagers”

Incorrect.  In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment. In many cases, treatment for adults can be challenging, which is why adults should seek out certified specialists who have the training to manage these challenges.

Adults of all ages are being seen by CAO specialists for a variety of treatments to straighten their teeth and to improve their smiles.

Myth #4

“Anyone who provides braces or clear aligners for straightening teeth is an orthodontist”

Incorrect.  There are some general dentists and some web-based companies that offer treatments to straighten teeth. However, the only people who are qualified to call themselves orthodontists are those who have first completed a 4-year degree to become a dentist and then returned to school full-time for a minimum of 2 years of additional, specialized training focusing on orthodontics.

Orthodontic specialists focus only on the improvement of the bite and the appearance of ones teeth. If the person providing your braces or clear aligners also offers other treatments, such as dental fillings or root canals, then you are not being treated by an orthodontist.

To become a member of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO), one must be an orthodontic specialist. For a list of CAO members in your area please click on the “doctor locator” on the CAO homepage.

Myth #5

“There is no point in seeing an Orthodontist until all my child’s baby teeth are all gone”

Incorrect.  The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should be evaluated by an orthodontist at an early age while many baby teeth are still present.

It is advantageous for a CAO specialists to see children at age 6 or 7 years to evaluate growth, bite, and the pattern of tooth eruption. Most children at this age will not require immediate treatment, however, seeing children early in their development helps to identify potential problems and often provides an opportunity for early corrective treatments. If you have questions regarding the development of your child’s teeth or jaws a CAO orthodontist will be happy to consult with you to address your concerns.