You may have heard of a relatively new orthodontic technique that involves putting braces on baby teeth. This treatment probably sounds absurd- trying to create a perfect and straight smile only to have the teeth fall out within a few years. On the contrary, this routine (known as interceptive orthodontics) is a very effective method for developing a life-long beautiful smile.
Interceptive orthodontics take advantage of the fact that toddlers and young children still have developing bones in their face and jaws. Here, braces and orthodontic appliances tend to have a more drastic effect and can correct defects and malocclusions (conditions where the teeth are misaligned) more robustly. They are almost always used as part of a two stage treatment plan- where earlier braces help create symmetrical and properly sized jaws and later phases create the straight and cosmetically pleasing smile. Overall, this combined approach leads to less time in orthodontics versus single phase treatment.
Not every child needs interceptive orthodontics or will be a good candidate. If your orthodontist recommends early braces, it is part of a long term plan towards your child's best dental health. If you have any more questions about interceptive orthodontics or how they are used, give our office a call!