Because Carousel Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is a true multi-specialty practice, “comprehensive orthodontics” means that Dr. Katie can treat all orthodontic problems for your child from baby teeth to braces! Dr. Katie will oversee your child’s treatment until all their permanent teeth have erupted and are in their optimal positions for a beautiful, functional smile.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by age seven. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will need braces right away. Instead, the purpose of an evaluation at this age is to determine if your child can benefit from interceptive orthodontics (also known as early orthodontics) in Apple Valley, MN. If your child doesn't need early orthodontics, we still want to follow your child at regular follow-up appointments to monitor jaw growth and the eruption of permanent teeth. One great thing about Carousel Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is that Dr. Katie can provide these orthodontic follow-ups as part of the routine preventive dental appointment, all in one visit! 

Orthodontics for Younger Children

3 year old with crossbite and open bite
3 year old with crossbite and open bite

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 dental office are bite issues, jaw growth problems, and alignment concerns, including:

  • 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.

Orthodontics for Older Children

What Is Comprehensive Orthodontics?

Comprehensive orthodontics refers to treatment for children and adolescents who have all of their permanent teeth. At this stage, all existing orthodontic problems will be addressed and treated. This differs from the goals of interceptive orthodontics, at which time only specific, big-picture problems are addressed. Most children and adolescents who are ready for comprehensive orthodontics are treated with traditional braces on all of their permanent teeth. Every child’s needs are unique, but the average treatment time for traditional braces is 18-24 months.three family members smiling l pediatric dentist apple valley mn

We’re Here for You Every Step of the Way

At Carousel, we know that getting braces is a big decision, so we do everything we can to make the process as easy as possible for you and your child. 

Orthodontic treatment is also an investment in time and money, and we want your child to get the greatest benefit from treatment. Patient education is an essential element of the orthodontic care we provide at Carousel, from oral hygiene counseling to elastic wear instruction, and finally retainer care and maintenance. 

Our routine preventive dental visits are the perfect time to share whatever orthodontic concerns you may have about your child's teeth!

Contact Us to Get Started!

Do you have questions about your child's orthodontic needs near Apple Valley, MN? Please call Carousel Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics and we will be happy to schedule a complimentary orthodontic evaluation at your convenience.