Early Interceptive Treatment for Children
Serving Fairfield, Cincinnati, and West Chester, OH
While orthodontic treatment is commonly associated with pre-teens and teenagers, it is important to consider planning for the welfare of our children through orthodontic care at an early age. Usually by the age of seven, many children are ready for Early Interceptive Treatment and, in cases where significant irregularities are present, are often helped at even earlier ages.
Early Interceptive Treatment is most beneficial in identifying and correcting potential oral issues before they develop into more harmful or advanced problems. Dr. Diers will evaluate when it is most appropriate for your child to begin receiving orthodontic treatment. Scheduling an appointment is as easy as calling us at your preferred location or using our online appointment request form to discuss your child’s first visit. If you prefer, a Virtual New Patient Exam is also available so that you can meet with Dr. Diers in the comfort of your own home.
How Can I Tell When My Child Needs Early Interceptive Treatment?
Orthodontic problems can sometimes go unnoticed by the untrained eye. Further, there are some problems that many people are unaware orthodontics can help. Signs that it may be time for your child to receive interceptive treatment include but are not limited to:
|Early or late loss of baby teeth
|Difficulty in chewing, biting, and breathing (mouth breathing)
|Speech impediments or disorders
|Protruding teeth, meaning that the top and bottom teeth extend away from each other
|Crossbites, when your child’s jaw shifts or clicks as they open and close their mouth
|Crowded front teeth or teeth that appear too large for the mouth
|Teeth that don’t meet together regularly, such as a large gap between teeth, or an open bite
|An asymmetrical smile or imbalanced facial appearance
|Grinding or clenching teeth
|Injuries to your child’s mouth or teeth
|Jaws that protrude too far forward
Types of Orthodontic Treatment
Early treatment commonly falls into the first two of three main treatment categories listed below. The appropriate category and procedure is determined by Dr. Diers after diagnostic records are collected.
Preventative TreatmentThe goal of this treatment is to avoid the development of malocclusion or bad bites in a growing mouth. Further, we often strive to maximize the airway during this phase. For many of our youngest children, the goal of this phase is an expanded palate which allows the tongue room to come forward in the mouth. This in turn, opens the airway and allows for better blood oxygen saturation for the entire body. Many parents report an improvement in speech and certainly, quality of sleep is impacted, often resulting in behavioral improvements in many.
Early Interceptive TreatmentThis phase of treatment is meant to reduce the advancement of developing oral problems and eliminates their cause as soon as possible. Think of this phase as “growth guidance”. Typically, children with a mix of adult and baby teeth are the ideal candidates. Often, a removable appliance is worn during this phase but several options exist and can be discussed with Dr. Diers at your new patient exam to determine which will serve you and your family best.
Comprehensive TreatmentThese procedures are most commonly used to correct growth irregularities and are best suited for older children and adults. When teeth are fully misaligned, or the jaws aren’t functioning properly, Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment may be needed. For some, jaw surgery is used in combination with orthodontics in this phase.
Benefits of Early Interceptive Treatment
Getting your child early treatment could be one of the best decisions you make on their behalf. The jaw at a young age is still developing and the bone is soft. This makes it easier to create space for adult teeth when necessary and correct potential issues early before they progress. Growth guidance is maximized by early intervention. Potentially harmful habits such as tongue thrust, teeth grinding, and thumb sucking can also be addressed before they cause larger issues.
Catching these problems early can make treatments later in life simpler. More complicated treatments that may be needed once the child grows older can often be avoided. It can, in some cases, allow children to avoid braces altogether, and certainly can improve your child’s self-esteem. We understand that children can be just as self-conscious as adults and helping your child build confidence is a goal we strive for!
Are you interested in learning more about early interceptive treatment? Give us a call at (513) 829-4400. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!
Or contact us online today!