What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?
Interceptive orthodontics is a type of early treatment aimed at preventing malocclusion. The goal is to intercept potential problems while the facial bones are still growing. Treatment at this stage is often shorter and less expensive than treatment later in life.
You may utilize interception in orthodontics to:
- Guide the eruption of teeth
- Regulate the width of the dental arch
- Close spaces between teeth
- Prevent the need for extractions
- Improve the overall alignment of the teeth and jaws
The goal of interceptive orthodontics is to prevent more severe problems from occurring. When a child’s dentofacial features are not fully developed, interceptive treatment can be used to address orthodontic issues. Many jaw and biting problems become more challenging to treat when a child approaches their teen years, and adults may need surgery to correct any such issues.
One type of interceptive orthodontic appliance is the habit appliance. This appliance is used to treat habits that can cause problems with the teeth, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. Tongue posture is essential to how teeth align and grow into place, and stopping these habits early can prevent significant issues later.
The appliance is usually worn for about six months and is not removable. It is then removed, and the teeth are checked to see if the problem has been corrected. The appliance may be used for additional time if the issue has not been resolved.
A space maintainer is another type of interceptive orthodontic appliance. This appliance is used when a baby tooth falls out before the permanent tooth is ready. The space maintainer helps to hold the space open so that the permanent tooth can come in without crowding other teeth. Space maintainers are usually metal or plastic and can be fixed or removable. They are custom-made for each patient and are worn until the permanent tooth comes in.
Beginning usage of either of these devices is important sooner rather than later. Leaving these habits to develop can result in more advanced problems.
When Is The Best Time For An Evaluation?
It is typically advised that kids receive an evaluation for preventative dentistry around the age of seven. This allows for any potential problems to be found and addressed before they have a chance to progress. Of course, an evaluation can also be conducted at any time if an issue presents itself. In either case, interceptive orthodontics can help ensure that your child enjoys a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.