Interceptive treatment, sometimes referred to as early treatment, describes any treatment recommended by the orthodontist when your child is between 7-10 years of age. During this time, almost all children will have a mixture of adult and baby teeth still present.
The aim is to intervene early and intercept any abnormalities in the development of the teeth and bite. Treatment is more effective while your children are still growing.
This has many benefits:
Rapid Maxillary Expansion aims to widen the upper jaw. Generally, expansion is more stable in the upper jaw compared with the lower jaw. The expansion can be done with removable or fixed braces, and often includes a spring or screw/key mechanism used to widen the jaw.
Thumb or digit sucking habits are common in children aged 5 and under. Most children will outgrow their habit by the time they are 7, however research has shown that some children will continue after this age. The good news is if the habit is stopped before the age of 10, in most cases any unwanted effects on the bite or teeth will improve.
The idea of your child having an extraction will always worry a parent. However, extractions of baby teeth or adult teeth to help the underlying adult teeth erupt into the correct position is sometimes recommended.
For instance, the most common adult tooth to become stuck or impacted is the permanent upper canine. If left untreated, this can cause damage to the adjacent teeth or move into a position where it cannot be aligned. By simply extracting the baby canine tooth, the permanent canine tooth is almost twice as likely to erupt into the correct position.
Your orthodontist will always take an x-ray and carry out a thorough assessment before recommending this treatment.
This treatment uses functional and myofunctional appliances to enhance the growth of the lower jaw, correct issues with the bite and improve the profile.
We know that these braces don’t work by growing the lower jaw. They actually enhance any growth potential, but move the teeth in blocks.
This type of treatment is most successful before or during the adolescent growth spurt. In girls this is from 10-13 years and in boys from 11-14 years.
They are most commonly used to correct class II problems – where the lower jaw is smaller. This makes the chin look small and the upper teeth more prominent.
The most popular design is the twinblock. This is a removable type that has an upper and lower component. These two components interlock and hold the jaw in a more forward position. More recently the Carriere Motion appliance, which is fixed has become very popular. The appliance has minimal impact on speech and is more subtle in appearance.
Other types of myofunctional braces are also available, these include Myobraces and fixed types. Your orthodontist will advise you on which is best suited for your child.