Early Interceptive Treatment in Canton, MI

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What is Early Interceptive Treatment?

Early interceptive treatment starts while children still have most of their baby teeth. It aims to guide the teeth and jaws to correct and prevent future orthodontic issues. Early treatment often sets the stage for adolescent braces, ensuring more straightforward treatment and better results.

The American Association of Orthodontics strongly recommends that every child visit a qualified orthodontist by age seven to determine whether they need early intervention. Most pediatric dentists work closely with orthodontists and can also refer children needing treatment.

Benefits of Early Interceptive Treatment

  • Correct dental and jaw development before it can interfere with the eruption of permanent teeth
  • Makes later orthodontic treatment faster and easier
  • Minimizing bite problems like overbite, underbite, and crossbite
  • Stops unwanted habits like thumb sucking, mouth breathing, incorrect swallowing, and tongue thrusting that can negatively impact tooth alignment and facial growth
  • Improves airway and helps children sleep better at night
  • Corrects facial growth patterns to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile
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Our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Ritu Singh, is an interceptive and dentofacial orthopedics expert. She uses a range of treatments adapted to your child's individual growth and development.

We offer convenient appointment times after school and on weekends to accommodate your busy family.

Procedures Offered

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Two-Phase Orthodontics

For most children, doctors can treat orthodontic issues with braces or aligners. However, many children need treatment before the final tooth alignment occurs.

Phase 1: This stage of orthodontic treatment takes advantage of the child's rapid growth to guide proper development. Devices like palatal expanders, habit-breaking appliances, and limited braces correct issues and prepare the way for later treatment.

Phase 1 treatment may take between six and 18 months to complete, but most patients need about 12 months. After Phase 1, treatment pauses for a few years to allow the remaining permanent teeth to erupt.

Phase 2: The orthodontist provides treatment with braces to finalize the proper alignment of the permanent teeth.

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Airway Orthodontics

These procedures help children with damaging oral habits like mouth breathing and incorrect swallowing. Children who breathe through their mouths instead of their noses hold their tongues incorrectly. Without the tongue's support, the top jaw narrows and collapses the palate's arch. The teeth become crowded because the child's jaw development does not leave enough room for them.

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Habit-Breaking Appliances

Habit appliances are helpful for children who need to stop thumb-sucking or thrusting their tongues. They both prevent the child from engaging in the habit and remind them to stop. These appliances are similar to retainers. They may be removable or cemented in place.

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Palatal Expanders

A palatal expander fits in the upper jaw and gradually creates more space for the permanent teeth to erupt. Since the two halves of the upper jaw do not fuse until after puberty, it's possible to push them apart gently. Palatal expanders help with crossbites, crowding, and impacted teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Early Interceptive Treatment

What are some signals that my child may need early interceptive treatment?

Children with one or more of these signs may be good candidates for this treatment:

  • Crooked or overcrowded teeth
  • The jaw appears out of alignment
  • Mouth breathing
  • Chewing issues
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Early baby tooth loss (age 6 or 7)
  • Speech difficulties such as lisping or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds
Will my child also need braces later in childhood?
In many cases, children who underwent early interceptive treatment will need braces on their permanent teeth. However, early treatment is enough for some children to correct their problems.
Why is it better to have early treatment than to wait until the permanent teeth are in place?
Thanks to children's rapid growth and incomplete development, they respond very well to early treatment. Older teens and adults may need tooth extractions or invasive jaw surgeries to help correct their issues.
What are the most common issues treated with interceptive orthodontics?
Tooth crowding and habit-breaking are two common problems treated by interceptive orthodontics. Bite issues (overbite, underbite, or crossbite) also occur in many children.
Why is thumb-sucking bad for children's teeth?
Thumb-sucking pushes the teeth out of alignment due to constant pressure. It frequently creates overbites. If the child stops sucking their thumb at an early age, the problem may correct itself, but many children require orthodontic care to fix it.

Call Advanced Orthodontics

We would be glad to meet your child and help you determine whether early interceptive orthodontics would help them enjoy a healthier smile. Please call our Canton, MI office at

to schedule a consultation.