Interceptive orthodontics in children: when to start and how to prevent future problems

Interceptive orthodontics in children: when to start and how to prevent future problems

This treatment avoids complications and anomalies that in adulthood can only be corrected by orthognathic surgery.

Interceptive orthodontics is a treatment performed on children in order to guide and correct the growth of their bones (maxilla and mandible). In this way, the facial bones will be properly positioned and sized, and the mouth will develop correctly from a functional and esthetic point of view.

Given the negative repercussions that inadequate bone development has on a person, it is essential that parents know the appropriate age to prevent and begin correcting problems in their children’s teeth. The Ferrus Bratos clinic in Madrid, which specializes in innovative and state-of-the-art dental procedures, recommends taking children to the orthodontist for the first time at the age of 5. In this way, the orthodontist will be able to assess whether interceptive orthodontic treatment is necessary or whether bone development is proceeding properly.

«Given that during childhood the bones are still in the growth phase, it is possible to act on them. Interceptive orthodontics should not be confused with bracket-based appliances worn by adults or adolescents. Interceptive orthodontics does not replace braces, but rather leaves the bones prepared to work on the alignment of the teeth,» explains Patricia Bratos, orthodontist and co-founder of the clinic.

That said, the appropriate age to treat bone defects is between 6 and 11 years of age. This is not a casual range but responds to the fact that, at such an early stage of life, the maxillary bones are still forming and, therefore, are still «moldable».

How interceptive orthodontics works

Interceptive orthodontics acts on two aspects:

  • Functional: if the teeth do not bite in the right way and do not contact properly, this causes discomfort and discomfort when eating and digesting food. In addition, some teeth will wear more than others, which will favor their fracture.
  • Aesthetic: Bones that are too prominent or underdeveloped can also impair facial harmony. «This is the case for some men with class II, which is characterized by a very underdeveloped or retracted jaw. This feature tends to detract from the masculinity of the face, so some men grow beards to conceal it,» adds Patricia Bratos.

Finally, it is essential to emphasize that if a person reaches adulthood with jaw bones of inadequate position and/or size, the only solution will be to perform orthognathic surgery. However, this is a much more time-consuming, complex and costly treatment than interceptive orthodontics.



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