Unlike traditional orthodontic treatment which basically addresses tooth alignment problems after the permanent teeth have fully emerged from the gum line, interceptive orthodontic care focuses on correcting alignment issues early by guiding emerging primary teeth in children into their proper position.
Interceptive orthodontic care can help guide teeth into a more favorable position and create a more appealing arrangement of your teeth, gums and jawline. This is meant to correct bite and alignment problems even before the permanent teeth in your child emerge, eliminating the need for more drastic measures such as wire braces later in adulthood.
How does interceptive orthodontics work?
This treatment involves the use of appliances that guide the teeth into their position as they develop. Dentists can use wire braces and palate expanders to shape tooth and jaw development, preventing damage to childhood teeth while also creating enough room on the jaw to accommodate emerging adult teeth. This prevents crowding and ensures that a child develops a straight smile early in life.
Other than preventing chewing and biting problems from developing and creating a normal alignment of teeth and jaw, this treatment also teaches children to stop harmful oral habits that lead to gaped, split or protruding front teeth.
Ending bad oral habits
Interceptive orthodontic treatment focuses on stopping destructive habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and breathing out of the mouth, which can cause serious tooth misalignment issues, including a cross bite or uneven development of the upper and lower jaw.
One of the popular interceptive orthodontic treatment devices that have had great success in correcting early mixed dentition is called a 'pre-orthodontic trainer.' This device consists of tooth channels that are installed at the base of the teeth to the first molar to guide erupting baby teeth into correct alignment, while also preventing tooth splitting and shaping the arch of the mouth. The device also has a tongue gag that helps deter tongue thrusting habits.
Benefits of interceptive orthodontic treatment
This treatment has real physical benefits that extent beyond appearances. By preventing teeth from crowding on the palate, interceptive orthodontics can prevent the need for tooth extraction later in adolescence. Proper jaw alignment also ensures that the jawbone does not recess and obstruct the airway, which would lead to sleeping disorders and nasal polyps.
Taking your child for early orthodontic evaluation can help detect problems with tooth alignment early on, so that any development issues can be intercepted early.