Interceptive Orthodontics

What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?

Interceptive orthodontics is an early treatment phase for young children who have functional problems with their teeth and jaws. It is important to address these issues while they are still growing, because the problems can get worse over time without interceptive treatment, resulting in longer and more complex treatment. 

By age seven, your child has a mix of baby and permanent teeth called the "mixed dentition" phase. At this stage, we can identify a developing jaw or bite problem that would benefit from interceptive orthodontic treatment. Children who benefit from early orthodontic treatment are typically between 7-9 years of age.

What Problems Do Interceptive Orthodontics Address?

Problems Dr. Katie looks for during an interceptive orthodontic evaluation at our Apple Valley dentaloffice are bite issues, jaw growth problems, and alignment concerns, including:

3 year old with crossbite and open bite
3 year old with crossbite and open bite
  • Crowding
  • Excessive spacing
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite

Benefits of Early Orthodontics 

Interceptive orthodontics allows Dr. Katie to influence your child’s jaw growth and development, and get things "back on track." Interceptive orthodontics can also simplify the comprehensive, final phase of orthodontic treatment, which typically begins once all of the permanent teeth have come in. The main goals of interceptive orthodontics are to:

  • Guide jaw growth
  • Direct the emergence of permanent teeth
  • Minimize the risk of damage to protruding front teeth
  • Eliminate harmful oral habits such as thumb sucking
  • Address spacing or crowding issues

Examples of interceptive orthodontic appliances are upper jaw expanders, space maintainers, headgear, and sometimes limited braces. Some children can also benefit from the removal of baby teeth to make space in their jaw for permanent teeth.