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Posts for tag: interceptive orthodontics

By Kid Dental
July 19, 2018
Category: Uncategorized

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.


When you think orthodontics, you may instantly picture braces or clear aligners worn by teenagers or adults. But there’s more to orthodontics than correcting fully developed malocclusions (poor bites). It’s also possible to intervene and potentially reduce a malocclusion’s future severity and cost well beforehand.

Known as interceptive orthodontics, these treatments help guide jaw growth in children while mouth structures are still developing and more pliable. But timing is critical: waiting until late childhood or puberty could be too late.

For example, we can influence an upper jaw developing too narrowly (which can cause erupting teeth to crowd each other) with an expander appliance placed in the roof of the mouth. The expander exerts slight, outward pressure on the upper jaw bones. Because the bones haven’t yet fused as they will later, the pressure maintains a gap between them that fills with additional bone that eventually widens the jaw.

Functional appliances like the Herbst appliance influence muscle and bone development in the jaws to eventually reshape and reposition them. The Herbst appliance utilizes a set of metal hinges connected to the top and bottom jaws; when the patient opens and closes their jaws the hinges encourage the lower jaw to move (and eventually grow) forward. If successful, it could help a patient avoid more invasive treatments like tooth extraction or jaw surgery.

Some interceptive objectives are quite simple in comparison like preserving the space created by a prematurely lost primary tooth. If a child loses a primary tooth before the incoming permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the nearby teeth can drift into the empty space. Without enough room, the permanent tooth could erupt out of position. We can hold the space with a simple loop device known as a space maintainer: usually made of acrylic or metal, the device fits between adjacent teeth and prevents them from drifting into the space until the permanent tooth is ready to come in.

Interceptive orthodontics can have a positive impact on your child’s jaw development, now and in the future. For these techniques to be effective, though, they must begin early, so be sure your child has a complete orthodontic evaluation beginning around age 7. You may be able to head off future bite problems before they happen.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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Kid Dental

Reno, NV Office
Kid Dental
1101 West Moana Lane, Suite 4
Reno, NV 89509
(775) 825-5005
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Sparks, NV Office
Kid Dental
1301 North McCarran Blvd., Suite 104
Sparks, NV 89431
(775) 470-5070
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