Interceptive Orthodontics is a phased type of orthodontics. Parents and patients need to understand that when interceptive orthodontics is performed there is usually more than one phase of of treatment involved.Growth in young age is utilized to correct developmental occlusion problems. Staging the treatment can correct immediate problems and future issues. Intercepive orthodontics simply means diagnosing and treating malocclusions as soon as they are detected. The American Academy of Orthodontics now says all children should have an orthodontic assessment no later than the age of seven.
In the past, orthodontic treatment did not begin until around age 12-14. This is when all the permanent teeth are already erupted or very close to it. It was also common for the dentist to remove permanent teeth to correct the bite and allow for room for the final phase of tooth movement. Modern orthodontists now advocate a way to keep permanent teeth, with phased interceptive orthodontics. In interceptive orthodontics, children are treated at much earlier ages (usually between age 7-11 years old) to take advantage of continuing growth. Patients at this age tend to be more receptive to, and compliant with treatment. Interceptive orthodontics allows for fewer teeth to be extracted and also allows for better end results.
Phase two will begin when all the permanent teeth are in place. Going through two phases allows for the second phase to be shorter in duration, since the major corrections happened in the interceptive orthodontics phase. Sometimes interceptive orthodontics are needed to correct problems related to skeletal development, and sometimes it is needed as a direct result of oral habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrust.
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and book an appointment. Our orthodontist will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile and dental health.