Most people think braces are the solution once the problem is already there. This is why it is common to see kids and preteens between the ages of 12 and 14 with braces. While it is still possible to correct alignment at this point, comprehensive orthodontic treatment becomes necessary. If you want to maintain or correct your child’s bite before all permanent teeth come in, it might be time to ask your dentist about preventive and interceptive orthodontics.

What is preventive orthodontics?

The goal of this treatment is to keep malocclusions or ‘bad bites’ from developing. Orthodontic specialists do this by ensuring there is enough room for permanent teeth to come in. Some cases require the use of a maintainer to hold space for milk or baby teeth lost earlier or do not come out naturally. It’s best to describe the steps taken in the process as a guide for the development of a normal occlusion.

What is interceptive orthodontics?

Interceptive treatment is necessary to avoid the development of problems that could possibly lead to severe dental cases. Its objective is to address a developing problem to reduce the length and extensiveness of later orthodontic treatment. This form of orthodontic treatment may involve guiding permanent teeth into ideal positions through tooth removal or other techniques, and making way or keeping space for the growth of permanent teeth. Such treatment may require more than one phase and can begin once patients have primary teeth.

Examples of common implications these treatments can prevent include the following:

Space Loss – This is one of the more common problems associated with malocclusions. Imbalanced tooth forces may lead to space loss, which may lead to other problems.
Mastication or chewing problems – Poor bites may lead to the loss of chewing efficiency, which might also have an effect on general health.

Poor Smile Esthetics – Misaligned or crooked teeth can make children ashamed and keep their smiles and laughter restrained. Avoid this by ensuring they have a proper bite and aligned teeth through proper treatment.

Consult with orthodontic specialists to learn more about these treatment procedures. Optimal dental care is necessary to keep your child’s dental health in check starting at an early age.