The Importance of a Proper Bite
When parents think of orthodontic care for their children most people imagine a preteen or teenager in need of braces. However, proper orthodontic care begins much earlier than the teenage years. As a matter of fact by evaluating children as young as 6, many parents can guide proper jaw development. By taking a proactive stance on the proper development of the jaw and bite alignment can save parents significant amounts of money down the road.
Understanding Interceptive Orthodontics
More often than not, orthodontic issues simply grow worse over time without any intervening treatment. For this reason, it is extremely important to address any bite or jaw development issues as soon as possible in order to “intercept” the problem. This is where interceptive orthodontics comes into play.
Interceptive orthodontics’ primary purpose is to locate and address orthodontic issues as soon as possible to prevent the continued growth of any undesirable issues.
How Interceptive Orthodontics Can Help Your Child
While Interceptive orthodontics is a wide ranging area of practice there are a few issues that tend to be most common.
For example, cross bites can begin to develop in children at a very young age. Cross bites occur when the upper jaw is too narrow. Luckily there are techniques and tools available to correct cross bites and to prevent them from worsening. A tool called a palatal expander is often the most used solution to “expand” the upper jaw. The palatal expander takes advantage of a gap in the bone of the palate that does not typically close until a child becomes a teenager.
The expander is placed up against the palate, pressure is consistently and gradually applies causing (over time) the gap in the bone to widen. As this gap is widened the body will gradually fill the gap with bone. By expanding the palate at such a young age, cross bites are more easily corrected.
To alter the movement of the jaw, our staff can also employ a Herbst appliance. This hinged tool, placed in the mouth, is designed to correct improper jaw movement. The Herbst appliance guides the lower jaw forward to foster proper bite development. Similar to the palatal expander, the Herbst appliance is most effective during early childhood (before the jaw has fully developed).
It is important to know that these are merely a few issues and a few tools our team is equipped with when practicing Interceptive orthodontics. Many children experience other developmental issues that could require the help of Interceptive orthodontics.
Regardless of whether or not you believe your child has orthodontic issues presently, it is important to have their jaw and bite assessed by an experienced orthodontist. Our friendly and competent staff will be happy to help your child and answer any further questions you may have about Interceptive orthodontics. A proactive approach is always the best approach. Take a proactive approach to your child’s dental health and contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment with Creed Orthodontics in Cypress Texas.