Orthodontic Assistants are specilized dental assistants who work with patients receiving orthodontic treatment. Thats all fancy talk for saying that OA's are the Orthodontist's right hand man/woman. Typically an OA will be the person bringing you back into the clinic, taking xrays and photos for your teeth, prepping your teeth for braces, taking impressions, and adjusting your braces every time you came in for an appointment.
Orthodontic Assistants also do a bunch of behind the scenes work like making your retainers, sterilizing instruments, updating patient charts, and maintaining inventory. But the most important job an OA does is patient care. They are responsible for teaching patients and parents how to care for their new appliances once they leave the office. The lesson on home care may include brushing a certain way, flossing under new gear, and most importantly how to prevent white spots from forming around braces.
If you have any question at any of your appointments, the Orthodontic Assistant is your girl! She is highly knowledgable, trained and willing to help you through any issue you may be facing with your appliances. At your next appointment be sure to thank an OA for all their hard work!