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Interceptive Orthodontics

Preventing issues in the future that may require more prolonged orthodontic treatment

                                                Early orthodontic/interceptive treatment

For children Early orthodontic treatment, also known as interceptive orthodontics, focuses on addressing hereditary, dental and skeletal issues in children before they become more complex and difficult to treat. Today, parents have many options to treat their children's orthodontic problems early, avoiding the need for more extensive treatment in the future.

The goal of early treatment is to create more space for the proper eruption of the remaining permanent teeth, improve growth of the jaw bones, correct bad habits (such thumb sucking, tongue thrust) and correct bite issues such as overbites, underbites and crossbite, minimizing the risk of jaw pain, headaches and difficulty chewing and reducing the likelihood of future extractions or surgery.

Early treatment can enhance self-esteem by improving the appearance of the teeth and correcting functional problems that may cause embarrassment or discomfort. It can also lead to a more attractive smile.


What is the difference between early orthodontic treatment and regular orthodontic treatment?

Phase 1 (Early orthodontic treatment)
·       Ages 6-10 approximately 

·       Teeth are a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth.

·       Bones are still growing and correcting facial asymmetry is possible by directing jaw growth 

·       Reduces the need of phase 2 treatment and makes it quicker and easier if needed.

Phase 2 (regular orthodontic treatment)
·       Ages 11 and older

·       Nearly all permanent teeth have erupted

·       Includes comprehensive treatment, typically consisting of full braces or upper and lower aligners.

How to tell if your child might require early treatment.

·       Significant crowding and misalignment 

·       Early lost of baby teeth due to injury or decay

·       Difficulty biting or chewing

·       Front teeth that are protruding and susceptible to injury

·       Speech impediments  
·       Some teeth may be protruding, crowded, or misplaced. 
·       Mouth breathing, 
·       The inability to comfortably close your lips may be signs that orthodontic treatment is needed.
·       Tongue thrusting (talking with the tongue between the teeth)

In addition to these general guidelines, the American academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child have an orthodontic examination by age 7 as many conditions are far easier to treat if they're caught at an early stage, when children's natural growth processes are in full swing For example, a palatal expander appliance can effectively treat a child's crossbite (a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower ones) because a youngster's jaw is still growing rapidly.

However, if left untreated, oral surgery could later be required to correct this serious condition.
Teeth that meet abnormally can even cause a facial imbalance (asymmetry), meaning that some facial features aren't in proportion with others. This is a problem that can often be corrected by early orthodontic treatment.

Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?

If you think your child might require early orthodontic treatment and you would like to learn more, schedule a free consultation today.

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