“Early” treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, means treatment that is performed while some baby teeth are still present. Interceptive treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated.
The objectives of interceptive treatment (Phase 1) orthodontic care are to influence jaw growth, create more space for crowded teeth, help to correct harmful habits, and improve facial aesthetics. With interceptive treatment the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth as well as the need for extractions of permanent teeth can be lessened. Interceptive treatment can also simplify the next phase of orthodontic care.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child’s first check-up with an orthodontist be performed when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7. Why age 7? By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws, which in turn can provide a wealth of information. AAO orthodontists are trained to spot subtle problems even in young children.
You are welcome to schedule a free consultation if you think your child might be a candidate for interceptive treatment.