What is Interceptive Orthodontics?
Early orthodontic treatment is called interceptive or preventive orthodontics. Early orthodontic treatment for children is usually the first phase of a two-phase treatment. Preventive orthodontic treatment for children will influence the development of the jaw, and prevent problems as children age.
Many potentially difficult problems to treat later in life may be successfully prevented when your child’s jaw is still developing and therefore, more malleable. As children age, the options to influence jaw development lessen and may require longer or more involved treatment.
Benefits of Braces for Kids
If your child requires early orthodontic treatment, Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists offers gold, clear, and metal bracket and wire braces. We also offer colored elastics to allow your child to customize their braces.
Braces early in life can prevent a host of future problems, offering benefits such as:
- Preventing a narrow jaw from leading to crowded teeth
- Guiding healthy jaw growth
- Reducing the need for extractions
- Minimizing the risk of protruding teeth
- Creating room for adult teeth to erupt properly
- Stopping dangerous oral habits including thumb sucking, tongue thrusting
- Improving speech
- Correcting mouth breathing
- Reducing future treatment length and cost
- Helping with proper speech development
- Lowering the risk of tooth decay from overlapping and crowded teeth
- Aiding in proper digestion
- Preventing excessive wear and tear of teeth from grinding
Is Your Child a Candidate for Braces?
The best way to know if your child needs braces, or other interceptive orthodontic treatment, is to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist by your child’s 7th birthday. However, there are warning signs and symptoms that your child should see an orthodontist. These signs and symptoms include:
- Crowded teeth
- Early loss of baby (primary) teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Jaw clicking or pain
- Mouth breathing while sleeping
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Tongue thrusting, finger sucking habits
Why Choose Legacy Smiles for Preventative Orthodontics for Kids?
Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists has deep roots in the Las Cruces community. As a full-service, technologically advanced orthodontic practice, our practice has treated children, teens, and adults in Las Cruces since 1979. Housed in a peaceful, relaxing office, with a dedicated child entertainment area, our team is gentle and friendly. We prioritize education at every appointment.
Our orthodontists have provided preventive orthodontics to countless families, helping them to avoid the costs that extended treatments later in life require. At Legacy Smiles, we take enormous pride in the legacy we have built in the local area.
FAQs About Braces for Kids
Does my child need braces?
Braces for kids help to ensure a healthy bite and better oral health for the future. Without early treatment, minor problems can quickly become complex problems with the jaw, affecting your child’s ability to chew, bite, and speak properly.
Will insurance cover early orthodontic treatment?
All insurance plans are different. You should confirm what coverages may be available to you with your insurance company. Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists will also work with you to finance treatment with flexible payment plans, or third-party financing through CareCredit.
Will preventative orthodontic treatment hurt my child?
Orthodontic treatment early in life typically causes less discomfort for children than orthodontic treatment later in life. This is because the jaw is still developing in children, making it more malleable. The jaw becomes stronger and less flexible as we age. Minor discomfort can nearly always be managed with a mild over-the-counter pain reliever.
How early can I bring my child to the orthodontist?
You may bring your child in as soon as you have any concerns about their bite, ability to speak, or ability to chew. If they report pain in their jaw, you should also bring them to an orthodontist. Children who have lost baby teeth early should also be examined by an orthodontist. All children should see an orthodontist by their 7th birthday.