Early Interceptive Orthodontics for Children

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Early Orthodontic treatments when some baby teeth are still present, need to be performed in the patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and the Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) both recommend that a child’s first check-up with an Orthodontist be performed when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7.

The goal of early treatment is:

  • to intercept the developing problem
  • eliminate the cause
  • guide the growth of facial and jawbones, and
  • provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth

A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions. Regardless of how treatment goals are reached, the bottom line is that some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.

More treatment usually is needed later on, but it may be shorter and less involved. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

What is an Orthodontist

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion,” which means “bad bite.” The practise of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.

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