In the past, it was not common for parents to take their children for a dental visit to determine whether or not their preteen needs braces. That's not the case anymore. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends parents to visit a certified kids' dentist for a dental evaluation before their little ones reach the age of seven.
Early evaluation offers timely detection of potential problems and enables treatment to start right away. This early evaluation of the child’s teeth is known as interceptive orthodontics.
Why Interceptive Orthodontics?
Interceptive orthodontics work to prevent issues with the teeth, mouth, and the right bite. The reason for interceptive orthodontics is to counter the effects of pacifier habits and thumb sucking. Thumb sucking and pacifier habits alter the shape of the jaw bone causing the teeth to grow in a crooked manner.
Also, Children's Crossing Pediatric Dentistry noted that interceptive orthodontics work to create space for permanent teeth to grow.
Orthodontic Appliances in Use for Interceptive Orthodontics
The choice of the orthodontic appliance to use when reducing potential jaw-growth problems depend on the case at hand, and your dentist should advise you on the best ones to use. Some of the common orthopedic appliances are:
- Palatal expansion appliance: This appliance is effective when a child suffers from a crossbite. The dentist attaches the appliance to the upper back teeth to expand the upper jaw.
- Fixed functional appliance: This appliance targets the lower and upper molar teeth and prevents excess protrusion of the upper teeth.
- Headgear: This appliance exerts pressure on the upper jaw and upper teeth to guide the direction of tooth eruption and how the upper jaw should grow. The headgear is a removable device.
A resting period follows after interceptive treatment with to allow permanent teeth to grow in. Meanwhile, the child wears some form of retainer. In few instances will the child need to get comprehensive treatment with braces because the interceptive treatment has already aligned the teeth properly.