Interceptive Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children visit an orthodontist by age 7. Fortunately, many young patients don’t need anything more than observation while their permanent teeth are growing into place; however, some young patients may have problems that require immediate intervention. As unique as your child is, so is their bite and bite problems. While one child may not require any treatment until age 13 or 14, another may significantly benefit from an interceptive phase at age 9.

If your child has a problem that requires attention, we may recommend interceptive treatment, also referred to as “Phase I treatment”. Early intervention takes advantage of facial growth and tooth eruption and can lessen the severity of a problem. It frequently makes the completion of treatment at a later age less time consuming, less expensive, and less invasive (ie. Avoid permanent extractions)

Interceptive treatment can help;

  • Avoid fracture or loss of protruding teeth
  • Improve how the jaws and teeth meet together during chewing and swallowing
  • Eliminate adverse habits such as thumb/finger sucking and/or tongue thrusting
  • Correct tooth alignment
  • Enhance speech development
  • Improve breathing problems that may adversely affect normal groth and development of the jaw bones and surrounding face
  • Correct crossbites, tooth grinding, tooth interferences, and lower jaw displacement
  • Allow for proper guided eruption of the permanent teeth by strategically having primary (baby) teeth removed at your family dentist
  • Improve self confidence

Interceptive mechanics, if indicated, will vary and depend on the type and severity of the problem we are dealing with. As mentioned, interceptive treatment is designed to manage a bite problem and minimize the invasiveness of future treatment. For some children, very simple retainers can be helpful while others would benefit from a short phase of a few braces and other mechanics. Here are just a few of the many correction mechanics we often use where indicated.

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