You may think that orthodontic treatment must involve braces consisting of brackets and wires that are worn for 18 months or more. However, early interventions, known as interceptive orthodontics, can actually reduce the amount of time a teen must spend in braces or possibly eliminate it entirely.
Keep in mind that the benefits of orthodontic treatment go beyond the aesthetic, so if your child is showing signs of any alignment problems in the teeth or the jaw after the first permanent teeth erupt, schedule a consultation with your dentist to explore treatment options.
Early Treatment Approaches In Orthodontics
While misaligned teeth can be repositioned using traditional braces or other treatment systems, interceptive orthodontics can manipulate early jaw development to either reduce the severity of or prevent the problem in the first place. Furthermore, it can help a patient avoid more invasive interventions, such as tooth extraction or orthognathic surgery, at a later date.
Your dentist may use a number of different appliances during the interceptive phase of treatment, such as palate expanders or space maintainers. The length of time that these appliances are worn will vary from case to case.
Your child may show signs of alignment problems in the smile shortly after the first permanent teeth emerge. As such, interceptive interventions can be implemented when a child is fairly young, around 6 or 7 years old, depending on the pace of your child’s dental development.
The Importance Of A Properly Aligned Smile
Of course, one major outcome of orthodontic treatment is a straighter, more beautiful smile. Indeed, this is a compelling reason to consider interceptive treatment or braces. However, properly positioned teeth and jaws are also more effective at chewing and less likely to bite and injure the soft oral tissues. Correctly aligned teeth also help people speak clearly. By pursuing early orthodontic treatment for your child, you can help your child gain these benefits.
Does your child appear to be developing a problem in the alignment of the jaws or the smile? Seek interceptive treatment as early as possible for the best outcomes. Call the office of John Morris, DDS, to schedule an evaluation.