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What Is Interceptive Orthodontics for Children?

Team Interceptive Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry

Interceptive orthodontic treatment, otherwise known as early orthodontic treatment, is used to help correct the growth of the jaw, as well as bite problems like underbite. Children who receive this early, effective treatment also are helped in making room for their permanent teeth to come in correctly, and to prevent the necessity for future extractions.  

What are Interceptive Orthodontics?

The goal of interceptive orthodontic treatment is proactive: to prevent orthodontic issues from happening instead of waiting for them to occur and then offering treatment. This approach often improves results and reduces the time that may be needed for your child to wear braces during adolescence.

Common interceptive orthodontics include:

Space Maintainers 

These are used commonly if a primary tooth is lost when the permanent adult tooth isn’t yet ready to erupt. These baby teeth are important for a variety of reasons, including holding the proper amount of space for the permanent teeth. When missing too early, other teeth in the area can shift, so that the permanent tooth erupts without receiving the proper amount of space. And that’s where space maintainers come in, to preserve that space.

Habit Appliance

A habit appliance can be helpful to stop patients from thumb or finger sucking, and retrain tongue position or pattern of swallowing. Habit appliances help minimize the ways in which 

How Can You Tell if Your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Visiting your child’s dental team for regularly scheduled exams is one of the best ways to tell if your child needs interceptive orthodontic treatment.

Signs you can observe at home include: 

  • Early loss of baby teeth before age five
  • Late loss of baby teeth after age 13
  • Difficulty with chewing or biting
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Thumb sucking after age 5 
  • Speech impediments
  • Teeth that are protruding
  • Teeth that do not come together normally
  • Cross bite or shifting the jaw when opening or closing the mouth
  • Crowded front teeth appearing at age seven or eight

How Interceptive Orthodontics Benefit Your Child

Early interceptive orthodontics help prevent the necessity of orthodontic procedures for adult patients, such as extraction or adult braces. Because crowded teeth are harder to floss and brush, interceptive orthodontics also help to prevent and eliminate tooth decay and the risk of periodontal disease.

Additionally, these proactive measures can prevent accidental chipping of protruding teeth, and prevent the uneven wear on teeth and growth that crossbites can cause. Early treatment can also help your child to avoid speech issues caused by crossbite or tongue thrusting.

And, this early treatment can both diminish the need for future braces, or make such treatment shorter and simpler down the line. 

Because jaw growth hardens at a young age, the sooner the orthodontic treatment is received, the better for your child’s dental health and overall health, as well. 

Ready to Learn More About Interceptive Orthodontics?

For more information about interceptive orthodontics and how they can help your child, or to make an appointment for a consultation, just reach out to us, today!