Treating orthodontic issues during childhood—even before all adult teeth emerge—have become very common in recent years. This practice, also called interceptive orthodontics, is meant to make aligning teeth more efficient and effective. The reason early orthodontic care has become more popular is because an orthodontist can take advantage of a child’s developing oral structures while guiding permanent teeth to straight positions with braces. In a nutshell, interceptive orthodontics means that adult teeth can come in straighter and treatment times can be reduced since the period of tooth transition is overseen by professionals. Treating children early can also prevent the need for invasive procedures like tooth extractions or the need for external appliances like headgear.
When should children first see an orthodontist?
Our practice begins seeing children around the age of seven. This initial consultation gives our staff an opportunity to monitor the development of all teeth (including adult teeth), the jawbones, facial joints, and the health of a patient’s bite (occlusion). Since every child’s development is unique, early orthodontic intervention gives our practice a chance to develop a custom treatment plan that is designed to meet your child’s specific needs.
What are the benefits of interceptive orthodontics?
There are numerous benefits to early orthodontic treatment. Receiving braces early on can prevent adult teeth from crowding and overlapping with baby teeth that have yet to fall out. Guiding teeth during tooth transition with oral appliances can also improve patients’ level of comfort since spacing issues like crowding can produce discomfort like facial pain and headaches. Moreover, establishing a healthy occlusion during childhood can help keep adult teeth healthy by preventing untimely tooth wear. A healthy bite is important to smooth oral function and speech development.
Interceptive orthodontic care is not always necessary and when consulting with families, we only recommend treatment that is in the best interest of our patients. To learn more about our orthodontic services or to schedule a consultation, call our family-friendly office, Bunn Orthodontic Group, at your convenience.