Interceptive Orthodontics is a phased type of orthodontics. In this treatment growth spurt of children is utilized for guiding the jaw bones into an optimal shape and prevent or treat many potential malocclusions. Children aged 7 years and above are candidates for this type of treatment and parents should get their children evaluated atleast once after 7 years for assessing any requirement of interceptive orthodontics.
Sometimes when orthodontic treatment is started at later age some permanent teeth might be extracted in case of overcrowding but the same situation in children can be managed by expanding jaw bone through interceptive orthodontics with fewer or no extraction at all for better end results.
How much time needed for interceptive orthodontics?
In the first phase of interceptive orthodontics assessment is done and minor procedures like appliances, wearing corrective devices are done. Second phase is done when all permanent teeth are erupted which happens at usually 11-12 years of age.
Some common child habits and effects
Children are prone to develop habits like persistent thumb sucking, extended pacifier sucking, lip biting, tongue thrusting and extensive bottle feeding, refusal to start eating solid foods. These habits after the age of 2 to 3 years can give rise to problems like
- soft and weak jaw bones
- malaligned teeth
- protruding front teeth.
- narrow jaw bones.
- open bites
These issues if identified early can be corrected by the use of specifically designed appliances and regular follow ups.
Procedures in Interceptive Orthodontics:
- Expansion of the upper jaw to eliminate a crossbite
- Expansion of one or both jaws to create space for overly crowded teeth
- Early removal of specific baby teeth to facilitate the proper eruption of permanent teeth
- Maintaining space for permanent teeth after the premature loss of a baby tooth
- Reducing the protrusion of upper incisors to decrease the likelihood of fracture from trauma
Interceptive orthodontics is not only about a perfect smile it adds to the health of teeth and jaw bones and ability to maintain healthy teeth throughout their lives.