Interceptive orthodontic care is early limited orthodontic treatment to address a problem before it gets out of hand. Treatment occurs for children ~7-10 years old over 4-12 months to address a developmental problem in the mixed dentition of primary and adult teeth. Early treatment is used to shift teeth, manipulate growth, create space for unerupted/blocked out teeth, break habits, and prevent trauma before it’s too late. After the treatment, the child is monitored to assess if they need a second phase of full braces to create a completely stable, functional and esthetic occlusion.
Goals of Interceptive Treatment (Phase I)
- To prevent improper growth of the jaws that might cause an underbite, overbite, crossbite or shifting bite
- To eliminate a destructive habit such as thumb sucking/finger habit or tongue thrust
- To reposition one or more teeth that are occluding in such a way that they are damaging the enamel of other teeth
- To prevent trauma to teeth that are too far forward
- To reposition teeth that are cosmetically poor to eliminate the risk of taunting by peers or to improve self-esteem