Lowell Macaroni Kid is a free weekly newsletter and website focused on kid-friendly events and information in the greater Lowell area. They gather together all kinds of local family events and activities each week, and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more.
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Are Braces In Your Child’s Future?
Reichheld Ting Orthodontics can help!
By: Barbara Evangelista
What’s the best age for your child’s teeth to be evaluated by an orthodontist? You may be surprised to learn that an evaluation at 7 — yes, seven — years old can have a significant impact on the length and expense of orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, the experts at Reichheld Ting Orthodontics (www.straightteeth.com) provide FREE annual evaluations, including diagnostic x-rays, digital photos, measurements, and recommendations, at their three offices in Billerica, Lowell and Westford.
Why is it best to evaluate your child’s teeth at such an early age? According to Dr. Jay Reichheld, “In many children, we can make a small adjustment at an early age, such as arranging for the dentist to remove a couple of baby teeth to provide the space for adult teeth to grow in straight. We can also use short-term orthodontic treatments to correct problems quickly before they lead to larger issues that will take much longer and be more costly to correct. Early evaluations and treatments help us to predict growth and treat issues quickly, so that later orthodontic work is less complicated and has a better result.”
We have recently begun our adventure in the world of orthodontia, when my 10-year-old son got braces on his upper teeth. The lower set of braces will be placed in about 6 months. Ben has a whole variety of orthodontic issues, including malocclusion and crossbite (his upper and lower teeth don’t meet correctly), a narrow upper jaw, overbite, and — unusually — a completely missing adult tooth (one of his top incisors, so very visible). I have been so impressed with Reichheld Ting right from Ben’s first visit when he was 9. Their office is warm and welcoming, and they offer free coffee and video games to help pass the time for waiting kids and adults. All of the doctors and staff are clearly top-notch in their fields, and their advice on how to handle Ben’s missing adult tooth was very helpful. Dr. Jay’s recommendation to remove two teeth to give other adult teeth room to grow was spot-on. Ben’s dentist removed the baby teeth during an intense but fairly quick procedure that showed that Ben is made of tough stuff, and we saw good results within a few months. I expected Ben to need braces at 11 or 12 and was surprised to hear at his evaluation in October that he was ready to get braces. We’re pleased that he will be done with his orthodontic treatment by 7th grade; it will be nice for him to have straight, gorgeous teeth when he’s entering those difficult early teen years.
Ben’s evaluations and treatment have been easy so far. One of the great things about RTO is that they make orthodontic treatment fun for kids. At every annual evaluation, kids get to spin the wheel and earn Sharky Bucks. Once treatment has started, patients earn more Sharky Bucks by arriving on time, wearing their RTO t-shirt, going to the dentist every 6 months, and doing a good job cleaning their teeth and braces. Patients can redeem their Sharky Bucks for gift cards for local stores and restaurants. Ben loved to spin the Sharky Bucks wheel at his evaluations and hit the big bucks, which we tucked away for a future gift card. He was a bit nervous about having his braces put on but not scared. The whole process took about an hour, including a very helpful review of how to brush and floss his teeth and braces, what he can and cannot eat and how to make eating easier, and what to look out for. His teeth and jaw were sore for a couple of days, but he has adjusted very quickly and is taking far better care of his teeth now than he was before (the hygienist showed him some very effective photos of what can happen if you DON’T take care of your teeth and braces).
Not only does Reichheld Ting Orthodontics (RTO) offer braces for children and teens, they also offer treatments for adults. If you’ve been frustrated with your teeth’s appearance for years or even experience pain from misalignment, RTO can address those issues with Invisalign or standard braces. If your child is being evaluated, schedule an evaluation for yourself at the same time. Many adult patients find it ideal to treat their own orthodontic needs when their children are being treated — you save time by scheduling appointments together, share your experiences and tips, and both of you end up with gorgeous teeth!
One of the first things parents think of when they consider braces for their children is the cost. There are many ways to make the cost of orthodontic treatment more palatable (so to speak). By bringing your child in for free annual evaluations starting at age 7, you’ll be informed early about potential problems and learn which issues really aren’t worrisome. You’ll also learn about early treatment options that will save you and your child time and money down the road. When your child is ready for orthodontic treatment, RTO offers no-interest payment plans, or a discount if you’re able to pay upfront for treatment in one payment. They accept most major credit cards too.
The experts at RTO have been caring for patients in the greater Lowell area for over 40 years and have built longterm relationships with many local families. They have annual events for all clients, including an RTO day at Canobie Lake, a pumpkin decorating contest, an annual movie party at Showcase Cinemas, and an Ice Cream Social. They’re also very involved with the community, regularly hosting Red Cross blood drives, serving as an official Toys for Tots donation center (donate from 11/1 to 12/18), and supporting local fundraisers. They sponsor local community education programs, including workshops on using the internet safely and other teen- and parent-focused topics.
If you’d like to learn more about Reichheld Ting, visit their website at www.straightteeth.com or their Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/rtortho. To schedule an evaluation, call the Billerica office at 978-670-5900, the Lowell office at 978-453-3872, or the Westford office at 978-692-5799, and be sure to mention that you learned about RTO on Macaroni Kid. If your child isn’t quite ready for orthodontic treatment but you’d like to be kept informed and reminded about evaluations, ask the appointment coordinator to add your name and email address to their mailing list so that you receive annual reminders.