The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial consultation at the age of 7-8 years old. At this stage of development, the permanent incisors and first adult molars have usually emerged. Although many primary teeth are still present, the orthodontist is able to evaluate your child’s malocclusion (malpositioning of the teeth). It might be recommended to start an interceptive treatment or rather to observe and re-evaluate in the future. An attentive follow-up of the growth and dentofacial development of your child is the best method to foresee the most appropriate course of action and timing of orthodontic care to come.
Interceptive treatment or first phase
An interceptive treatment is a limited orthodontic intervention that is generally most beneficial in children aged from 6 to 10 years old. This interceptive treatment may be recommended in order to:
- Create or maintain the necessary space for the upcoming adult teeth to erupt
- Correct the uneven width of the upper or lower jaws and teeth
- Improve facial symmetry
- Influence or guide the growth of the jaws
- Improve self confidence and self esteem
- Reduce the probability of certain adult teeth to remain stuck or impacted
- Help in correcting destructive oral habits
When indicated an interceptive orthodontic treatment allows the guidance of growth, it may facilitate the arrival of the adult teeth into a better position therefore simplifying any future orthodontic treatment.