Interceptive Orthodontics - Get Ahead of Issues - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Interceptive Orthodontics – Get Ahead of Issues

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Interceptive Orthodontics

Interceptive orthodontics, commonly referred to as child orthodontics is prescribed when children have certain oral conditions that require early intervention to prevent injury, malocclusion, or more complicated orthodontic treatment down the line. Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics offers free orthodontic consultations for children to assess their immediate needs.  The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8. Having an examination early on helps prevent the progression of orthodontic issues that may be already present.  In cases where orthodontic issues are developing early on, these early visits with Dr. Hardy can help with both early detection as well as prompt interceptive orthodontics to get on top of the issues at hand. Early detection and treatment is vital for good oral health and maintaining a beautiful smile.


What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?

Child orthodontics–also known as interceptive orthodontics–begins as early as age 6 or 7.  The reason for beginning a phase of orthodontics at this time is because the child has certain oral conditions that necessitate immediate treatment while the child’s jaw is still growing and teeth are still developing.  Intervening early can make certain issues easier to treat and prevent.  Interceptive orthodontics works to eliminate conditions (like crossbite or spacing) that can cause malocclusion. The National Institute of Health published findings agreeing in the efficacy of interceptive orthodontics, while also stating that, typically, another phase of orthodontics is necessary following the initial interceptive phase.


What Conditions Necessitate Interceptive Orthodontics?

Interceptive orthodontics is needed to correct problems related to the skeletal development of your child’s smile. Certain oral habits children develop after birth can necessitate interceptive orthodontics.  Some conditions don’t grow out of habit, but are merely inherited. Whatever the cause, they must be addressed early on. Interceptive orthodontics is usually necessary if your child falls into any of these categories:

  • Persistent thumb sucking
  • Extended use of a pacifier
  • Reshaped jawbone due to thumb sucking or pacifier use
  • Misaligned teeth that are developing out of position
  • Extremely crowded teeth
  • Uneven jaws
  • Narrow dental arches
  • Tongue-thrusting habit
  • Open bites or Cross bites
  • Precariously placed teeth at risk of injury


What Are Examples of Interceptive Orthodontics?

Interceptive orthodontics doesn’t always equate to getting braces put on.  Many phase one, interceptive orthodontic treatments don’t involve brackets and wires. Examples of interceptive orthodontics that your child may need include:

  • Removing primary teeth to help guide the proper placement of permanent teeth
  • Installing expanders to help widen the upper jaw and treat cross bites or extremely crowded teeth
  • Teeth spacers that help save a spot for permanent teeth if a primary tooth is lost too early due to injury or decay


Schedule Your Child’s First Orthodontic Appointment By Age 7

Although many orthodontists start orthodontic treatment with children when they only have a few adult teeth, studies have shown that only certain cases necessitate treatment this early on. Dr. T.C. Hardy practices a conservative approach to orthodontic treatment, to prevent you and your children from unnecessary dental work that takes your time and your resources prematurely. While it is important for children to have an early orthodontic assessment to look for serious dental concerns (around age 7), the majority of children will not require orthodontic treatment before age 11.


Benefits of Early Monitoring

Even if you do not detect any dental issues with your child and/or your child does not show any signs or symptoms of orthodontic complications, there are still many advantages you can benefit from by visiting an orthodontist at an early age such as:

  • Monitoring the progress of incoming teeth
  • Monitoring the progress of facial and jaw development and reduce the risk of needing jaw surgery
  • The chance to guide incoming teeth into their ideal position
  • The detection of hidden dental problems
  • Reduce the risk of future impacted teeth
  • Reduce the risk of permanent tooth extractions


Why Should I Choose Dr. T.C. Hardy?

Choosing who will be responsible for your child’s oral health is not an easy task, but is definitely a decision you want to take some time with.  Dr. Hardy earned advanced specialty training in orthodontics and have extensive experience correcting misaligned teeth, adjusting occlusion (the way the teeth fit together), and treating jaw disorders.   We also participate in continuing education and training in the most modern technology available so that you can be confident your children are getting the best diagnostic and treatment tools available.  Dr. Hardy and staff have proven themselves in their ability to work well with children of all ages to give them that one-on-one attention that they deserve. We strive to provide children with a positive experience, while simultaneously giving them smiles they will love to share with others.


Schedule a Interceptive Orthodontics Consultation

If you have questions about interceptive orthodontics or if you are interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. T.C. Hardy , please contact our office today at 720-887-6003.