Interceptive orthodontia is based on the premise that the cost and the amount of time that braces are worn can be
reduced by beginning treatment with children ages 7 to 10 years old rather than waiting until the
established teenager years.
Problems that are easier to correct while the jaw is still growing make early
orthodontic treatment sensible, especially for an underbite or a narrow upper arch.
Treating younger patients with a palatal expander widens the upper jaw, allowing the upper teeth to align better with the
lower jaw. This may make the second round of treatment when the patient is a teenager quicker and easier.
Crossbites may also benefit from early treatment.
An exception is a class 2 malocclusion, where the overbite looks like "buck teeth".
Studies have indicated that early orthodontic interceptive treatment does not have any measurable benefit.
For this condition, a second phase of orthodontic treatment is often necessary during the teenage years, meaning
longer exposure to braces and a higher overall cost.
You can look help evaluate whether your child needs orthodontic treatment. If your child teeth look perfect, your child
probably will not need orthodontic treatment. When you look, are all of their teeth straight? Are any teeth slanted to
the side? Do you see gaps between your child’s teeth? Are teeth overlapping? Any of these signs indicate that your
child will need orthodontic treatment.
Have your child bite down. Does the center of the front top teeth line up with the center of the front bottom teeth?
Do your child's top teeth protrude out the front of their mouth? Are any of the top teeth behind the bottom teeth?
If any of your child’s teeth do not line up properly, your child will need orthodontic treatment.
Now look at the alignment of your child’s jaw. Does your child’s jaw shift off center when they bite down?
If you see any misalignment or shifting of your child's jaw, your child will need orthodontic treatment.
If you see any of the above symptoms, or if you are not sure, please bring your child in for an orthodontic
evaluation. Do not wait hoping that the problems will go away. A child’s bite does not improve as the child ages.
Waiting only makes orthodontic problems get worse. If your child has a few teeth are crooked or crowded, the
orthodontist can realign the crowded teeth them easily. Untreated, the crooked teeth will encroach onto your
child's other teeth and push the other teeth out of alignment too.
As your child ages, orthodontic treatment becomes more difficult. Fibers anchor your child's teeth to your child’s jaw.
The bones in the roof of their mouth harden as your child ages. This natural process makes later treatment more difficult.