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Interceptive Orthodontics

Young boy sitting in dental chair and smiling.Orthodontic treatment has always been associated with the teenage years. Braces are looked at like a rite of passage. However, the emphasis on proactive dental care has led to the development and recognition of interceptive orthodontics. This approach focuses on orthodontic issues at an early age, before all permanent teeth have erupted.

What Does Interceptive Orthodontics Mean?

Interceptive orthodontics is a proactive approach to dental care. Its focus is on early identification and correction of orthodontic issues in children. Interceptive orthodontics starts at a younger age, typically between six and 10 years old. The primary goal is to intervene during a child's developmental stage, addressing concerns before all permanent teeth have erupted. This preventive strategy minimizes or eliminates future orthodontic problems, such as malocclusions, crowding, and spacing. Interceptive orthodontics creates a healthy smile, as well as proper facial development.

What Is the Difference Between Interceptive and Corrective Orthodontics?

The difference between interceptive and corrective orthodontics is the timing of treatment. Interceptive orthodontics starts at an early age, when a child's primary and permanent teeth are still developing. This proactive focus on identifying and addressing potential orthodontic problems prevents malocclusions, spacing irregularities, and improper jaw development. Corrective orthodontics is the more traditional form of treatment. It usually begins during adolescence, after permanent teeth have erupted. This reactive approach corrects existing problems such as misalignments, overcrowding, and bite issues.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention

Early orthodontic intervention offers many benefits through the prevention of severe orthodontic problems in the future. By treating issues during a child's developmental years, interceptive orthodontics often eliminates the need for more extensive corrective measures later on. Early intervention reduces treatment time and discomfort. In addition, early intervention encourages proper jaw and facial development. It enhances the patient's facial structure as well as the smile. Also, interceptive orthodontics mitigates the impact of habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. When left unaddressed, these lead to more complicated orthodontic problems that require more extensive correction.

Common Interceptive Orthodontic Treatments for Children

Interceptive orthodontic treatments encompass a variety of strategies. One common approach uses space maintainers to prevent teeth from shifting following premature loss of baby teeth. This ensures proper alignment of incoming permanent teeth. Palate expanders correct narrow palates. This promotes optimal jaw development, and prevents crowding. Partial braces address early signs of misalignment, and guide teeth into their correct positions. In addition, habit-breaking appliances are utilized to discourage thumb sucking and tongue thrusting and prevent the dental problems that stem from these habits. Regular monitoring and adjustments are integral parts of these treatments. This allows us to track progress and make necessary modifications to ensure the best outcome.

Removal of baby teeth

The removal of baby teeth is a natural part of a child's dental development. Baby teeth start to loosen and fall out on their own as permanent teeth emerge. This process begins around the age of six and continues through the early teen years. Lost baby teeth make room for permanent teeth, and facilitate proper alignment and spacing. In some cases, our orthodontic team may recommend the extraction of a baby tooth if it affects the eruption of a permanent tooth. The removal of baby teeth is a routine procedure, and ensures proper growth and alignment.

Reduction of protrusion of the upper front teeth

The reduction of protrusion of the upper front teeth is a common goal in orthodontics. It addresses issues like overbites or horizontal projection of front teeth. Protruding upper front teeth affect the aesthetics of a smile and impact oral health overall. Braces or clear aligners are often used to gradually reposition the upper front teeth, and bring them into alignment. The reduction of protrusion enhances the facial profile and provides a more functional bite.

Holding the Upper Jaw Back for a Slow-Growing Lower Jaw

In cases where a child's lower jaw is slow-growing in relation to the upper jaw, the treatment is to hold back the upper jaw's development. When left untreated, this condition may lead to an imbalance in facial structure, an overbite. We utilize appliances to modify growth patterns and gently restrain upper jaw development. These appliances encourage synchronized growth between both jaws, and establish a balanced facial profile.

Situations When Interceptive Orthodontics Are Needed

Interceptive orthodontics are necessary where early intervention prevents or mitigates potential orthodontic issues. If a child exhibits signs of malocclusion, such as crossbite, overbite, or underbite, it is addressed with interceptive orthodontics. Also, interceptive orthodontics is crucial to treat crowded or spaced teeth. We guide proper alignment during the developmental stage and prevent longer, more extensive corrective treatments later on in development. Identifying issues early allows our orthodontist team to implement proactive strategies, and minimize the severity of the issues and treatments.

Misaligned teeth

Misaligned teeth are also called malocclusion. This condition occurs when the teeth do not fit together properly, and leads to crowded teeth, spaced teeth, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Misaligned teeth result from several factors including genetics, jaw size discrepancies, early loss of primary teeth, or thumb sucking. Beyond aesthetics, malocclusion contributes to difficulty maintaining oral hygiene, and increases the risk of other issues like cavities and gum disease. Orthodontic interventions like braces and clear aligners offer solutions to gradually align the teeth. This improves function as well as a smile's appearance.

Teeth that grow out of position

Teeth that grow out of position impact the appearance of a smile, as well as function. Malpositioned teeth manifest as overcrowding, spacing irregularities, and misalignments. Genetics, jaw size, and early loss of primary teeth all contribute to misalignment. Teeth that grow out of position affect the look of a smile, and also lead to difficulties with oral hygiene. This may result in further dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. Braces or clear aligners are used to guide misaligned teeth into their correct positions and prevent further dental issues.

Narrow palate

A narrow palate is a condition where the upper jaw is constricted. This leads to insufficient space for proper teeth alignment. This issue often results in crowded or misaligned teeth. It impacts the form and function of the smile. A narrow palate affects breathing, speech, and oral hygiene. We treat a narrow palate with palate expanders that widen the upper jaw and create sufficient space for teeth to align.

Crowded teeth

Crowded teeth are common. This occurs when there is not enough space in the jaw for teeth to align. This condition leads to teeth overlapping or twisting. It affects both the appearance and function of a smile. Once again, crowded teeth create challenges for oral hygiene because they are difficult to clean, and increases the risk of cavities and gum disease. Braces and clear aligners are used to align crowded teeth and create a healthy smile.

Uneven jaw alignment

Uneven jaw alignment is also known as jaw asymmetry. This condition occurs when the upper and lower jaw do not align correctly, and leads to an uneven bite, as well as an uneven facial appearance. Uneven jaw alignment results from genetics, developmental issues, or traumatic injuries. The condition may contribute to difficulties with chewing, speech, and jaw comfort. Braces and other corrective appliances are employed to correct uneven jaw alignment. These appliances align teeth and the upper and lower jaw.

Protruding Front Teeth

This condition occurs when the upper front teeth extend outward beyond the lower teeth and create an overbite. Protruding front teeth can result from thumb-sucking, genes, or jaw size discrepancies. This condition leads to increased risk of dental injuries, difficulties with speech, and oral hygiene challenges. Orthodontic treatments gradually reposition teeth for a balanced smile.


Crossbites are a misalignment of the upper and lower jaw that result in some upper teeth sitting inside the lower teeth with the mouth closed. This condition may be a single tooth or multiple teeth in the front or side of the mouth. Crossbites lead to uneven wear on the teeth, jaw discomfort, and difficulty chewing. Unaddressed, crossbites contribute to more severe orthodontic issues over time. Specialized appliances are used to correct crossbites and align the teeth and jaw.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Give All About Orthodontics® a call at 586-999-8818 for Warren location or at 734-999-4774 for Southgate location if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment.
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Interceptive Orthodontics - Warren, Southgate & Clinton Township MI • All About Orthodontics
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All About Orthodontics - Dr. Raphael Putrus, 4600 E. 14 Mile Rd Suite 3/4, Warren, MI 48092 ^ 586-999-8818 ^ ^ 7/3/2024 ^ Page Phrases: orthodontist Warren MI ^