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Understanding Interceptive Orthodontics

September 21, 2017

While it is common to see braces and other orthodontic treatments on middle schoolers and teenagers, the use of braces and other types of interceptive orthodontics can be beneficial for children as young as five years old. Interceptive orthodontics, or phase one orthodontics is an exciting tool for pediatric dentists because it enables us to guide the development of a child’s jaw. This intervention can greatly improve the outcome of any orthodontic treatment the child may  need in the future.

How Can You Tell If Interceptive Orthodontics Will Be Necessary

Detecting if orthodontic treatment is right for your child is never easy. Often it is recommended to only start treatment after permanent teeth have erupted. This way the your child’s orthodontist can move teeth without worrying if another will grow in and stymie the success of the treatment. However if we discover that your child’s jaw is growing abnormally, we can attempt to correct this with interceptive orthodontics. Things your Palm Harbor Pediatric Dentist looks for when determining if phase one may be beneficial are: evidence that the newly emerging teeth may be positioned in a way that may cause them to make contact with other teeth resulting in chipping, cracking, or other damage and small, potentially crowded jaw development. If Dr. Maggie is worried that your child’s teeth may be at risk of one another or if the use of interceptive orthodontics may lessen the amount of comprehensive orthodontics they will need in the future, she will explain to you your options.

Explaining Interceptive Orthodontics

Interceptive orthodontics were created to help dentists and orthodontists better serve their adolescent patients. As children mature, their bones grow. This is not surprising, however the jaw development that takes place as primary teeth fall out and permanent teeth erupt is extremely fascinating. While as teeangers mature to adults their jaws a still growing which enables dentists and orthodontist to shift teeth and correct any natural malocclusions that may have developed. When children still have a mix of primary and permanent teeth, they can often determine the path jaw development will take. By treating a child early with spacers, expanders and even sets of braces, they have found that they can effectively guide the jaw into a healthy occlusion. This guidance can lessen the amount of time an orthodontist will need to adjust the permanent teeth in a traditional orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontists have found that early treatment of jaw abnormalities can produce stable and better results, greatly influence the amount of work that needs to be done as the child enters adolescence, and reduced the amount of potential damage done to teeth in comparison to traditional orthodontic treatment. Further having this work done gave the dentist great control of treatment and yielded greater patient involvement and satisfaction.

If you are curious if your child could benefit from interceptive orthodontics, give our Palm Harbor pediatric dentist a call today. Dr. Maggie can give you an accurate diagnosis and let you know if your child could benefit from phase one orthodontics.