You might think that teenagers are the primary age group who are candidates for orthodontic treatment, but it is not unusual for younger children to begin treatment these days. Early intervention, or interceptive orthodontics, may prevent more severe issues later with the mouth, bite, and jaw.
Teens and adults have gotten all of their permanent teeth, which means that any orthodontic treatment will involve correcting existing problems. Some of the most common reasons that people in these ages need braces is teeth crowding, crooked teeth, bite misalignment, protruding teeth, and other problems related to the placement or position of the teeth and jaw. Interceptive orthodontics seeks to avoid such problems in the first place.
Early intervention provides treatment of the mouth, jaw, and palate while the child is still growing. Issues that resulted from thumb sucking or pacifier dependence can be corrected, since these habits can affect the jawbone and cause teeth misalignment. Teeth may become crooked, especially front teeth which can stick out. Tongue and bite problems also can be related to pacifier use or thumb sucking.
Interceptive orthodontics may involve adding spacer appliances to the mouth, which are used to reshape the jaw and palate or improve teeth spacing. Palate issues or uneven jaw growth can also be more easily treated while a child is growing, because the tissues are more pliable and soft. Treatment at younger ages may shorten braces time after permanent teeth erupt, or avoid braces later completely. It can also prevent more intrusive procedures when the child gets older.