Between 25-50 percent of all kids require orthodontic treatment. Over 3.5 million teens and children start orthodontic treatment each year, and, in most cases, that treatment involves braces. Parents hate to learn that their tween or teen will need their bite corrected with braces. This is already an awkward age without adding the aesthetic, speech, and eating problems of a poor bite. If only you could just go back in time to when they were younger to stop or slow the poor bite from starting, right?
Sadly, time travel is for books and movies, not teeth. That said, interceptive orthodontics is a niche of professional orthodontic treatment that deals with identifying orthodontic problems before the above paragraph is necessary. Parents can use the service to avoid becoming a statistic of braces later.
What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?
This is a group of orthodontic procedures and techniques designed to be implemented within the early stages of jaw development. The primary objective is to revert abnormal jaw growth and get it back on a normal growth track. The result is prevention of a poor bite from ever forming.
There are quite a few reasons why abnormal jaw growth may occur. Let’s take a moment to look at a narrow upper jaw as an example since it’s a rather common problem.
The upper jaw may grow too narrow and not leave adequate space for teeth to erupt. Left uncorrected, the erupting teeth are likely to be misplaced.
Interceptive orthodontics corrects such issues early. A palatal expander in the roof of the child’s mouth will apply precise pressure to separate the palate bones and keep a slight gap. The body would naturally fill this gap with bone. Basically, the expander’s pressure counteracts the narrower upper jaw so that it can continue developing wider than it would on its own. This wider space would create adequate room for proper tooth eruption and possibly avoid future orthodontic treatment altogether.
Palatal expanders are only possible in this way prior to puberty. The palate bones fuse after puberty. Once the gap closes, the only way to widen a narrow palate is to surgically reopen the palate gap. That’s a invasive technique that can all be avoided with Interceptive orthodontics.
Of course, not all Interceptive orthodontic measures are this extensive. Let’s say your child prematurely losses a baby tooth. The open space often allows neighboring teeth to drift, which can cause permanent teeth to erupt out of place. Your orthodontist can place a simple space maintainer (a small wire loop) within the space to prevent drifting.
Timing Your First Orthodontic Appointment
The key thing to remember is that timing is key with any interceptive orthodontic treatment. All are designed to slow or prevent the development of bite issues via early identification and mitigation techniques. For this type of proactive treatment to be the best asset to you, you’ll want to schedule your child for their first orthodontic consultation at around six-years-old.
Contact RJ Orthodontics Today For Your Child’s Interceptive Orthodontic Consult
If you suspect your preteen has an orthodontic issue or you’d like to discuss an interceptive orthodontic exam, please contact RJ Orthodontics in Steiner Ranch Austin. Our friendly team will be happy to answer your child’s bite problem questions or schedule your first appointment.