When it comes to orthodontic treatment, there is never an age barrier to start attaining treatment. However, the American Academy of Orthodontics suggests that patients begin their orthodontic treatment as early as the age of seven. Studies have shown that growth is favorable to correct developmental bite problems in children. In the earlier days, treatment was never suggested until the patient was in their pre-teen days. However, dentists noticed that late intervention only slowed down the treatment process resulting in painful extractions and difficulty to shift permanent teeth.
Modern orthodontics utilizes ways to maximum help retain the patient's permanent teeth with interceptive orthodontics.
What is interceptive orthodontics?
In interceptive orthodontics, patients as young as 7 are treated for a bite and other malocclusion problems. The advantage of interceptive orthodontics is that the patient would still be growing, hence, it is easier to shift and move teeth to its desired location. Also, patients at this age are more responsive to treatment resulting in the extraction of fewer teeth and paving the way to better results.
Case Study (MIXED DENTITION)
The image above depicts the oral cavity of a seven-year girl with severe spacing and open bite. The girl's parents were concerned and did not want to delay treatment. The image on the right shows the patient at the age of 10. This result was achieved before the patient was at an age when traditional orthodontic treatment with braces and/or extractions is generally suggested. Treatment was completed with Trainer™ and Myobrace® system appliances only.
What are the benefits of interceptive orthodontics?
Interceptive orthodontics is highly recommended as it allows the timely detection of problems and an opportunity for effective treatment. It also prevents the need for expensive treatment and complications later on in the patient's life. It also allows the orthodontist to carefully monitor growth, development, and monitor treatment when ideal.
Listed are some of the direct results of interceptive treatment:
- Treats overcrowding or huge gaps
- Works on the facial posture
- Influences jaw growth
- Corrects bite issues
- Prevents the need for painful extractions
- Reduces treatment time
Importance of Treating Maloclussions
It is advised to treat signs of malocclusions as untreated malocclusions can lead to several other orthodontic problems. Overcrowded teeth make it difficult to maintain dental hygiene increases the chances of attaining gum disease. Protruded teeth and bites can result in unnecessary wearing of the enamel. Early intervention can help you attain a perfect and healthy set of teeth.