Interceptive orthodontics is the practice of evaluating children’s teeth and facial structures at a young age to identify ways to reduce orthodontic treatment time later and avoid situations that may require complicated treatment methods. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that by age 7 all children receive an orthodontic screening.
In most cases, Dr. Bright evaluates a young patient’s oral and facial development and identifies some things to watch. Then Dr. Bright recommends seeing your child every 6 months for orthodontic evaluations to ensure any orthodontic problems that arise as baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth are identified and addressed at the optimal time.
Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment
In some cases, Dr. Bright will identify a medical or aesthetic reason or perhaps a way to avoid more complicated orthodontics after all permanent teeth have erupted. When this is the case, orthodontic treatment may begin before all permanent teeth have come in. This is called Phase 1 orthodontic treatment. Read more about kids’ orthodontic treatment may be desireable.
The most frequent reason for phase 1 orthodontic treatment is when a child shows early signs of jaw problems such as an upper or lower jaw growing too much or not enough or perhaps is too narrow or too wide. The early orthodontic treatment during the child’s rapid growth period using specific appliances to guide the jaws into an ideal relationship with each other can provide room for permanent teeth and avoid future jaw surgery. Early intervention is a gentle method that can improve your child’s appearance and comfort as well as avoid future challenging orthodontic situations.
Resting/Observation Period Following Phase 1
After Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, all appliances are removed and your child will visit Dr. Bright every 4 to 6 months to monitor permanent teeth eruption. Retainers may or may not be used during this period depending on your child’s orthodontic needs.
Phase 2 Orthodontic Treatment
As described above, Phase 1 is about preventing future structural problems. As permanent teeth finish erupting and arrive in their final positions, a second phase of treatment is usually required.
Dr. Bright initiates Phase 2 treatment after all permanent teeth have erupted. Most often, braces will be worn for less time than would have been necessary with out Phase 1 treatment.
Using state-of-the art techniques, Dr. Bright and his team identify the best position for the teeth to optimize dental health, functions of chewing and swallowing, facial appearance, and even your child’s airway. The goal of phase 2 is to provide a lifelong beautiful smile that promotes self-esteem and healthy habits.
The type of orthodontic treatment depends on your child’s needs, but our staff will work with you and your insurance program to find affordable and effective solutions for your child’s dental health and appearance.