Orthodontics for Younger Children (6-10 years) / Interceptive Orthodontics
What is interceptive orthodontics?
- Orthodontic treatment performed at an earlier stage in a child’s growth (6-10 years) is known as interceptive orthodontics.
- At this stage of growth, not all of your child’s adult teeth have emerged into their mouth yet.
- The main goal of treatment at this stage is to address developing issues related to a child’s bite before the issues become more severe as growth continues. This is helpful for quickly managing an issue. It improves the function and appearance of your child’s teeth and jaw with a functional and stable bite, as well as a confident smile.
- Interceptive orthodontics reduces the severity of issues and complexity of treatment in the future. Although these children generally still require comprehensive orthodontic treatment to tidy things up once all their adult teeth have emerged at ~11-13 years of age, this second phase of orthodontic treatment is usually shorter or simplified if the first phase is completed successfully.
How do I know if my child need interceptive orthodontics?
Common reasons to undertake interceptive orthodontics include
- An excessive overbite – if their upper front teeth stick out way further than their lower teeth
- An underbite – if their upper front teeth are biting behind their lower front teeth
- An open bite – if their upper teeth are not biting onto their lower teeth
- Teeth that are significantly out of position – if their teeth are significantly misaligned, crooked or overlapping
- If their adult teeth are not emerging as expected and their baby teeth are not falling out as expected.
If you or your child is ever concerned about the alignment of their teeth or the way their teeth come together, it is always worthwhile to speak with an orthodontist to have your concerns addressed
What kind of treatment will be undertaken?
There are a wide variety of orthodontic systems and appliances available as part of interceptive treatment, and your orthodontist will be able to discuss the suitable options to best manage your child’s orthodontic issue
- A few of these systems/appliances include
- Palatal expanders
- Space maintainers
- Simple braces for children
Frequently Asked Questions
Orthodontic treatment offers numerous benefits, including improved dental alignment, enhanced bite function, increased ease of oral hygiene, reduced risk of tooth decay and gum disease, enhanced facial aesthetics, and boosted self-confidence. Addressing malocclusions through orthodontic treatment can also help to prevent more expensive procedures from being required down the line.
While orthodontic treatment is generally safe, there can be some risks and discomfort. These may include temporary soreness or discomfort, potential tooth sensitivity, and rare complications such as root resorption or gum problems. It is therefore important to work with an experienced orthodontist, who can minimise these risks with proper care, planning and regular monitoring.
There is no one right age for orthodontic treatment. While it is commonplace to see teenagers with braces, older adults can also greatly benefit from orthodontic treatment. For children, the orthodontist will take into account the child’s stage of growth and development to best plan the timing of orthodontic treatment. It is best to consult with an orthodontist to determine the right timing for your specific needs.