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Early Interceptive Orthodontics

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As a concerned parent, you naturally want your children to receive whatever dental they may need sooner rather than later. Early treatment of dental abnormalities, such as a bite misalignment or another disorder, can reduce the need for more extensive, invasive treatment in future years. For this reason, your pediatric dentist may recommend something called early interceptive orthodontics. If you've never even heard of this approach before, read on.

About Early Interceptive Orthodontics

Early interceptive orthodontics involves orthodontic treatment in children who haven’t yet completed the transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth. Even if only a few permanent teeth have erupted, your pediatric dentist can identify their potential (or even the potential of teeth not yet erupted) to cause bite problems and other issues. Early intervention and phased treatment at this stage can then minimize or prevent the development of tooth alignment problems that might otherwise require braces or other corrective methods. You may also hear this approach referred to as Phase 1 orthodontic treatment.

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Signs Your Child Might Need Early Interceptive Orthodontics

A variety of dental and orthodontic issues can occur during the formative early years of life. Abnormal tooth eruption and alignment problems can occur either on their own or due to habits such as thumb sucking. As permanent teeth replace baby teeth, they may crowd neighboring teeth, leave large gaps in a child’s smile or come together with a less-than-perfect bite (if they come together at all). Underbites, side-to-side bite errors, extra teeth, missing teeth, and teeth that erupt at odd angles may all call for early interceptive orthodontics.

When to Start Thinking About Early Interceptive Orthodontics

Although parents often associate orthodontic treatment with the teenage years, early interceptive orthodontics should begin before a child reaches seven years of age. At this young age, the child typically possesses enough erupted permanent teeth for the pediatric dentist to see whether those teeth will present future alignment problems (and if so, what kind of treatment they’ll likely need). 

Depending on the results of the initial consultation and dental imaging exams, the dentist might decide that your child requires no treatment, at least not for the time being. If your child can benefit from early treatment, corrective options may include appliances such as spacers, palate expanders or limited braces. In some cases, extraction of crowded or extra teeth can help other teeth erupt more normally. 

Our pediatric orthodontist in Frisco can provide early interceptive orthodontics for your family. Contact our clinic today. 

Frequently asked Questions

Early Interceptive Orthodontics

Crowding of permanent teeth as the come in after baby teeth are lost and bite issues can be early indicators. It’s best to get a professional pediatric dentist exam to determine if this might be something your child needs.

This first phase of orthodontics is usually takes place before the age of seven.