Interceptive orthodontics, also known as early orthodontic treatment, is a branch of orthodontics that focuses on diagnosing and addressing orthodontic issues in children at a young age, typically between the ages of 5 and 10. The goal of interceptive orthodontics is to identify and correct dental and jaw alignment problems early, before they become more severe and require more extensive orthodontic treatment later in life, such as braces or orthognathic surgery.
Interceptive orthodontics may involve a range of treatments and interventions, depending on the specific issues a child has. Some common problems that interceptive orthodontics can address include:
1. Malocclusions: These are problems with the alignment of the teeth and the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Interceptive orthodontics can help correct issues like overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites.
2. Crowded or misaligned teeth: Early treatment can create space for permanent teeth to come in properly and guide them into their correct positions.
3. Thumb sucking or other oral habits: These habits can lead to dental problems, and interceptive orthodontics may include addressing the reason certain habits have been adopted and formulating strategies to help break these habits.
4. Early loss of baby teeth: Premature loss of primary teeth can affect the alignment of permanent teeth, and interceptive orthodontics can address this issue.
5. Jaw growth problems: Some children may have issues with the growth and development of their jaws, and interceptive orthodontics can help guide proper growth.
Interceptive orthodontics typically involves the use of removable appliances, such as expanders, in conjunction with orofacial myology to optimise the facial muscles, swallowing, breathing and rest oral posture. The specific treatment plan will vary depending on the child's age, the severity of their orthodontic issues, and their individual needs.
The benefits of interceptive orthodontics include potentially shorter overall treatment times, reduced complexity of treatment, and improved oral health and aesthetics. Our dentists are able to help evaluate the child's specific situation and recommend the most appropriate course of action.