Rice Orthodontics

Changing Smiles for Life

For Children


for children

Orthodontics for Children

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children visit the orthodontist around age seven. Dr. Rice offers a free exam and x-ray to ensure your child is developing normally, and can often catch problems early that your family dentist may not see.  All children should have an orthodontic exam by age seven even if no problems are suspected.  Thankfully 95% of the problems if found in young children can be addressed using simple and often low cost recommendations to make future orthodontic treatment simplier, faster, and less expensive. Here at Rice Orthodontics, we only treat with a first phase of treatment if absolutely necessary.  

By seven, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for Dr. Rice to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems

For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. This is why Dr. Rice never charges for an orthodontic evaluation to ensure the patient is receiving the best treatment recommendations, while giving the parents the peace of mind knowing their child is receiving the best care possible.

Here are a few things to look for that mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

  • Early/late loss of baby teeth
  • If your child has a hard time chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age 7 or 8

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.

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