In the developed countries and among the educated mass in the developing countries almost everyone has a periodic dental check-up. It is part of their routine and children are no exceptions. The dentists there would inform the parents on time if the child will develop any bite related issue, crowding or spacing based on the way the teeth are growing in the foreseeable future. So a child’s adult teeth are monitored after all of their primary teeth have fallen and the adult teeth have grown and are in place.
Typically before 12 years of age, when the growth of the jaw bone is active, a dentist is in a position to ascertain if the teeth on the jaw bone are developing properly or improperly. Examples of problems in the jaw can be overdeveloped or under-developed upper jaw or overdeveloped or under-developed lower jaw .
Improperly developed teeth are due to the following reasons,
- Lack of space leading to crowding
- Other malocclusions (because of thumb sucking habits)
- Premature loss of milk teeth
Crowding, ugly smile is all common during the development stage. This is why this stage of development in a child is called “Ugly duckling stage”.
If there is any problem that is because of teeth only like crowding, spacing, etc., it can be treated at any stage of their life, (the earlier the better). But jaw bone related development issues can be treated better during the childhood only, within 12 years of age. Only at this age of a child, it is possible to make changes in the developing bone though orthodontic surgery can be done at any part of life. The treatment outlined in this age within 12 does not involve any surgery.
Any of the problems detected early in childhood gives advantage while treating. This treatment in advance is termed as Early Intervention or Interceptive Orthodontics.
It is the principle of treating the improper development of teeth in the early age as a child. In children the bones are softer and are prone to growth. So any treatment method that involves slow change to the alignment of the teeth is said to be very beneficial in the early stages of child growth.
Sometimes different treatment methods will be used for children. If not much of space is available for all the teeth to grow, for example a narrow palate, the dentist might place something called palatal expander. This expander is placed on the upper dental arch. This expands the palate and eventually gives more room on the jaw bones so that the teeth could emerge properly without crowding.
Advantages of Interceptive Orthodontics
The advantages offered by early intervention are immense. They are.
- The dental braces on a children acts more efficiently than on an adult.
- The time taken for correction of bites is much lesser compared to adults.
- The desired results are achieved more accurately in a child than the adults.
- Crowding or spacing can be corrected in less time compared to the treatment time of an adult.
- Early orthodontic treatment translates to less treatment in adulthood.
Treating children early for bite related problems is indeed a best option. So get your child if he / she are in the age group of 7-12 so that they can be treated early.