If you’re a parent who is unfamiliar with early interceptive orthodontics, we are happy to answer all your questions. Although most parents don’t think they need to consider braces for their children until their early teens, it’s actually wise to start considering orthodontics even younger. At Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea, we encourage parents to learn more about early interceptive orthodontics and schedule a consultation with us as young as possible.

wrong boy showing off his amazing smile

When Should My Child First Visit The Dentist For Orthodontics?

Typically, we like to start seeing children as young as five years old. However, it doesn’t hurt to bring your younger child in for a consultation. If you notice your child sucks their thumb, breathes through their mouth, or has difficulty swallowing, they might benefit from early orthodontics sooner than other children. Most early orthodontic treatments take place between the ages of five through nine years old. If you’re not sure if your child is ready for a consultation, please contact our Lee’s Summit dental office at (816) 795-1000 for more information.

What Is The Difference Between Early Interceptive Orthodontics and Regular Orthodontics?

Early interceptive orthodontics, or holistic orthodontics, is the first phase of orthodontic treatment. It usually involves treatments for patients aged between five and nine years old. The overall goal is to promote the jaw to develop correctly so that teeth grow in without problems. Holistic orthodontics help guide and promote jaw and tooth growth to not just prevent dental problems, but also to prevent airway and speech problems as well as TMJ disorders.

With regular orthodontics, the sole focus is on the appearance of the teeth with the ultimate goal of providing the patient with straight, well-aligned teeth. 

What Are The Benefits of Early Orthodontics?

Early orthodontics comes with a wide number of benefits. First, they help your child’s jaw develop correctly which can help promote facial symmetry. Early orthodontics can also reduce or eliminate malocclusions (misaligned bite). Your child could also benefit from reduced treatment time for regular braces or eliminate the need for them entirely. Early orthodontics can even prevent or improve speech problems, correct oral habits, prevent breathing problems, and prevent the need for jaw surgery in the future. There are no downsides to early orthodontics.

How Long Does The Treatment Take?

It depends on the child and the specific treatment. Some patients may only need to wear an appliance while they sleep at night for a year. Others might require wearing an appliance full-time for an extended period. Please book a consultation with our dentists in Lee’s Summit at (816) 795-1000 to learn more about what your child’s early orthodontic treatment will look like.

What Types of Early Interceptive Orthodontics Do You Offer?

We offer a few different options for early orthodontics. During a consultation with Dr. Pribyl or Dr. Kleoppel, we will recommend the best treatment for your child. One of our first options for early orthodontics is Biobloc Appliance Therapy (orthotropic). Biobloc is a series of removable orthodontic appliances that your child will wear full-time. Its purpose is to correct jaw growth and avoid maldevelopment.

We also use Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) appliances which is an appliance that helps stabilize the jaw joints, positively impact one’s airway, enhance facial development and growth, encourage proper tongue position, and address facial asymmetry. With ALF, your child can enjoy a beautiful smile all while minimizing their risk for airway problems and jaw joint dysfunction.

Another appliance we offer is Myobrace. This appliance is recommended for ages five to 15 and only requires one hour of wear per day and during sleep. Myobrace can address the underlying causes of crooked teeth by encouraging natural jaw development and growth.

The last appliance we offer is the Homeoblock appliance. The Homeoblock appliance promotes bone growth and bone remodeling by expanding the arches to increase nasal breathing. We recommend this treatment for older teenagers and adults.

Will My Child Still Need Braces If They Get Early Orthodontics?

Early orthodontics will either eliminate the need for braces in the future or reduce their treatment time. For instance, without early orthodontics, they may need to wear braces for three years to accomplish their goals. With early orthodontics, they either won’t need braces or only six months of braces to achieve their goals. This varies case by case. Talk to Dr. Pribyl or Dr. Kleoppel about your child’s specific needs.

What Happens If My Child Doesn’t Get Early Interceptive Orthodontics?

If your child doesn’t get early interceptive orthodontics, several things may happen depending on their specific case. They may experience breathing issues or sleep apnea. They can also experience speech problems, TMJ disorders, an asymmetrical appearance, misaligned teeth, and many other problems. Overall, they will require more treatments down the line to resolve all these issues that could have been prevented or reduced with early orthodontics.

Early Orthodontics Right For Your Child?

If we didn’t answer all your questions in these early interceptive orthodontics FAQs, we’re happy to answer them during a consultation at our Lee’s Summit dental office. If you would like to learn if early orthodontics is right for your child, please contact us at (816) 795-1000 to book an appointment today.