What if I told you there is something you can do that might prevent your child (or grandchild) from having many future problems with their teeth? Something that is simple and takes little time but can yield huge rewards? Curious to learn more?
What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?
Interceptive orthodontics, very simply, is the process of examining and treating orthodontic issues in young children while baby teeth are still present, usually by the age of 7. Why? Research shows that early orthodontic intervention can greatly reduce the need for future orthodontic treatment while also improving a child’s oral health. But how do you recognize that your child might need orthodontic treatment — and what are the benefits of early intervention?
Signs Your Child May Need Orthodontic Treatment
These are a few of the signs you can look for:
- Teeth crowded together — or spaced too far apart
- Extra teeth — or missing teeth
- Teeth don’t close together correctly or may not meet at all
- Jaw may shift to one side (crossbite)
- Upper front teeth rest behind lower teeth (underbite)
- Sleep, breathing, and speech problems
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention
A 7-year-old child will still have some of their primary teeth, and their jaws are still growing. Some secondary teeth have erupted, presenting a picture of possible growth and issues to come. This presents the perfect opportunity to evaluate and guide future growth to allow room for crowded teeth to fit properly into the jaws. Extraction of teeth to “make room” may become unnecessary, and many potential problems can be avoided altogether. Addressing these issues before they become a serious problem can save time and money and improve your child’s oral health.
Early intervention works best for orthodontic problems that can become worse over time, and the goal is to intervene and prevent future problems. There are some orthodontic problems that are better treated after all the permanent teeth have come in, so later orthodontic treatment may still be required.
What You Can Expect to Learn From Your Child’s Examination
Your child’s examination will provide many answers. We may find that there is no current need for orthodontic treatment, or that we anticipate a future need. We might, instead, find that some simple intervention procedures would be desirable at this time. In any case, we will present the diagnosis and proposed treatment to you in a straightforward manner, and you can decide how you wish to proceed.
Please contact my office today to schedule an examination and consultation to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s oral health, including concerns about the need for orthodontic treatment.
All the best,
Ruth Roach Morgan DDS
Jessica Morgan Vaughn DMD