Did you know that the American Orthodontic Association recommends that kids first visit an orthodontist at 7 years old? While this may seem young, newer treatment options, like interceptive treatment, allow us to prevent teeth misalignment, overcrowding, and jaw development issues from arising while also reducing the chance of more invasive treatment later on.
What is interceptive treatment?
Interceptive treatment refers to diagnosing and treating dental problems as soon as they arise. There are plenty of signs that can show you that your child might require early orthodontic treatment. These are listed on our website and are as follows:
- Your child is losing teeth earlier or later than normal (ideally the baby teeth begin to fall out at age 5 and permanent teeth are in place around age 13)
- Your child has a difficult or painful time chewing and biting
- Your child is an excessive mouth-breather
- Thumb-sucking persists after age 5
- Your child has a speech impediment
- Your child’s top teeth and bottom teeth point away from each other (a condition known as protruding teeth)
- Your child has an abnormal bite
How does interceptive treatment work?
The first step is diagnosis. When you bring your child to our experts, they’ll evaluate his or her smile thoroughly and check for any dental concerns. This allows us to spot potential problems, like crowding or misaligned bites, before they progress. If needed, Drs. Hutta & Price will then design a treatment plan. Treatment plans are unique to each child—depending on the problems your child is facing. Some common interventions include:
- Expansion of the upper jaw to eliminate a crossbite
- Removal of baby teeth to facilitate growth of adult teeth
- Expansion of either or both jaws to rectify overcrowding
- Maintaining space for permanent teeth after premature loss of baby teeth
Our goal with interceptive treatment is to ensure that permanent teeth grow in smoothly, safely, and comfortably by proactively treating issues. By giving your child a smile they are proud of, we are also reducing the chance of them needing tooth extractions later on or other invasive surgeries.
In some cases, the treatment will require a second phase for optimal results. This phase occurs once all the permanent teeth are in place, and is often much shorter. Using braces, we can perfect the smile, ensuring perfect alignment of your child’s teeth, jaw, and bite.
Interceptive treatment allows for a stress-free and often less-invasive solution to your child’s dental problems. If you or your family dentist think your child might be a candidate for early orthodontic care, please contact us at (614) 855-8800 to schedule an appointment.