Beginning orthodontic treatment a little earlier than usual may be beneficial for some kids. Interceptive orthodontics can be very helpful if your child has a problem that affects his or her palate, jaw, or bite. Pediatric dentists Dr. Roy Delappe, Dr. James Jensen, and Dr. Sara Hakin of Kid Dental in Reno and Sparks, NV, offer interceptive orthodontics and other treatments that will help keep your child's smile healthy.
When is early treatment needed?
Most children can wait to begin orthodontic treatment until all of their permanent teeth have erupted. In some cases, beginning treatment at an earlier age can correct problems that can cause lifelong issues for your child if they're not addressed promptly. Called "interceptive orthodontics," these treatments are designed to address a variety of problems, such as underbites, crossbites, and jaw problems caused by thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
How can interceptive orthodontics help my child?
Interceptive orthodontic treatments are used to create more room in your child's jaw for permanent teeth, save space for permanent teeth or ensure that your son or daughter's jaw develops properly. The treatments your child requires will depend on his or her particular problem. If your child has a crowding issue, their dentist may recommend tooth extraction or a palatal expander. A palatal expander is a device that widens the upper jaw to relieve crowding or certain bite problems. The device is only effective if it's worn before your child reaches puberty, as the bones of the palate can still be moved then.
Braces may be recommended if your child has a severe under or overbite problem. Both issues can cause bite problems and increase the risk of a tooth injury if your child receives a blow to the face. Other orthodontic treatments can be used to correct problems caused by thumb sucking or mouth breathing.
How can I tell if my child needs interceptive orthodontics?
Your child's Reno or Sparks dentist will evaluate the development of his or her teeth and jaw and make a recommendation for interceptive orthodontics if appropriate. Screenings should begin at age 7, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
Do you think your child could benefit from interceptive orthodontics? Schedule an appointment with pediatric dentists Dr. Delappe, Dr. Jensen, and Dr. Hakin of Kid Dental by calling (775) 825-5005 for the Reno, NV, office, or (775) 470-5070 for the Sparks, NV, office.