What are the Consequences of Forgoing or Delaying Orthodontic Care?


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Dear Dr. Barakat,

I’m pretty sure I can’t afford braces for my child. What are the consequences of forgoing orthodontic care or putting it off? Is it mostly cosmetic?


Dear Concerned Parent,

For some children, the treatment can be mostly cosmetic. For others, the treatment is necessary at a young age. You want to avoid putting off a problem that can become more expensive to treat at a later time. Some of the more pressing orthodontic issues include lack of proper jaw development of the child, impacted permanent teeth that can become very difficult to treat over time and may cause damage to adjacent teeth, irreversible enamel wear, or tooth damage due to a cross-bite. Tooth misalignment can also cause gum problems. On a slightly different note, some children hide the fact that they are self-conscious about their smiles, affecting their confidence.

The best thing to do is to see an orthodontist for a consultation. At Barakat Orthodontics, we offer free initial consultations. During this visit, we discuss the orthodontic issues at hand and determine the timeline for treatment. If the need is mostly cosmetic, or if the treatment timing is flexible, then the option to wait until there is a better time for you to pursue treatment is available. However, if there is an issue that needs to be addressed, we will determine if the treatment can be staged to treat a more urgent issue on a limited basis now, then do more comprehensive treatment at a time when it is more financially viable for you. Whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to have your child evaluated and discuss all options with the orthodontist. The goal is to get your child the treatment he or she needs for a healthy smile.


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


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