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Interceptive Orthodontics

Your child’s early orofacial development, including tongue positioning, can affect the alignment of their future smile. While Dr Mark Chung (Dentist) doesn’t usually recommend teeth straightening until around age 13, we can provide early interceptive orthodontics around ages 8-12 to minimise issues like crowding, crossbites and overbites or underbites.

Types of Interceptive Orthodontics

Young girl holding retainersDepending on your child’s unique oral anatomy, one type of interceptive strategy is to use an expander. These devices go inside the roof of the mouth and help to widen the jaw as it grows. This measure creates extra room for larger adult teeth to erupt properly, reducing the chances of impacted teeth or crowding.

Functional appliances such as Myobrace are also helpful. If your child has physical habits related to their lip positioning, swallowing patterns or other muscle movement, Myobrace can help to reduce the body’s own natural tendency to cause long-term tooth misalignment. Most kids wear their Myobrace appliance overnight for a year or two. Dr Chung will also give them special exercises to help re-learn proper tongue and lip habits.

Preventing Complex Care Later

When your child’s mouth is completely developed, the only way to address structural concerns is to perform treatments like jaw surgery. With interceptive orthodontics, Dr Chung can reduce the need for surgical steps by proactively getting ahead of the condition before it has a chance to get any worse.

Additionally, interceptive orthodontics can reduce the length of time your child spends in comprehensive braces treatment when they’re older. That way when your teen does need braces, it’s easier to fine tune their existing bite alignment.

Little girl holding dental x-ray

Your Child’s First Orthodontic Evaluation

Most orthodontists and dentists recommend that a child have their first orthodontic evaluation or exam by age 7. At this point in their rapid development, children have a combination of primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth in their dentition. As such, we’re able to see if potential concerns could arise, such as spacing issues, impacted teeth, or growth patterns that require intervention.

Dr Chung will continue to monitor the alignment of your child’s teeth at each of their six-month checkups. Should anything noteworthy arise, he may recommend incorporating interceptive orthodontics as part of their long-term oral health strategy.

Why Straight Teeth are Important for Kids

A properly aligned bite does more than just affect a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. It goes much deeper. When teeth are crowded, crooked or gapped, they have a higher tendency to lead to complications like:

  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Premature tooth wear
  • Fractured dental work
  • TMJ disorder
  • Speech impairments
  • Dietary problems
  • Dental emergencies

Giving your child the gift of a healthier, straighter smile is something they can enjoy for the rest of their life. With interceptive orthodontic strategies, we can help our young patients take advantage of natural growth patterns that optimise their future bite.

“Does My Child Need Braces?”

Schedule an evaluation and interceptive orthodontic Artarmon exam with us today!

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Interceptive Orthodontics Artarmon, St Leonards, Chatswood NSW | (02) 9419 7484