Why Early Treatment Matters

For three generations, the Kottemann family has been creating confident smiles in Minneapolis and the surrounding communities. You’re not just getting a new smile when you choose Kottemann Orthodontics, you’re joining our family! Our goal is to provide a welcoming atmosphere and world-class care for patients of all ages, including young children. 

Our innovative treatment options and cutting-edge technology make it easy to give kids the confident and healthy smile that each one deserves! One of the most important tools we have for achieving this is early orthodontic evaluations. These are so helpful for improving oral health that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends every child has one by the time they’re about seven years old. This allows orthodontists to assess the child’s bite and correct any issues that are identified before they have the chance to become more serious. 

A proactive approach like this can set kids up for a lifetime of confident smiles! If you have a young child ready for their first orthodontic appointment, we’d love to meet you both and take a look at how their smile is developing so far. During this visit, one of our expert orthodontists will examine their smile and check for anything out of the ordinary that may warrant further attention. If any issues are detected, they may recommend early treatment. Let’s take a closer look at what that means!

Why Early Treatment Matters

What is interceptive orthodontics?

Interceptive orthodontics is also known as Phase I orthodontics. This involves initiating the right treatment for a young patient at the most optimal time. Using this approach helps us create space for the proper development and eruption of a child’s permanent teeth and can also enhance the growth of their jaw. This results in straighter teeth, a more symmetrical smile, and better oral health. 

Who is a good fit for interceptive orthodontics?

Your child’s first visit with us will include a painless but thorough examination of their teeth and jaws. Interceptive orthodontics may be recommended if any of the following issues are present.

  • Your child appears to be prone to a problem we want to prevent.
  • Your child already has a developing problem that we now want to intercept.
  • Your child’s jawbones may need some guidance as they grow.

Some orthodontic issues are genetic, while others may be acquired through injury, premature tooth loss, or harmful oral habits. Certain developmental issues can correct themselves as a child grows, while others will require immediate intervention. Whatever the underlying cause, a bad bite can affect the way your child’s smile looks, feels, and functions. Fortunately, we can successfully address all of these concerns with interceptive orthodontics!

What does interceptive orthodontics include?

We often hear from parents who worry that an early orthodontic evaluation will lead to immediate treatment for their child. However, we recommend this for only a small percentage of the young children we see! Even if your child does need treatment, it won’t necessarily mean putting braces on them right away. Many Phase I treatments don’t use any brackets or wires at all, including:

  • the removal of one or more primary teeth to guide the proper placement of the permanent teeth
  • the use of expanders to widen the upper jaw and provide space for very crowded teeth
  • the placement of teeth spacers to save a spot for permanent teeth if a primary tooth has been lost early due to injury or decay

Our talented team is able to treat many orthodontic problems with relative ease by following the child’s dental growth patterns. That’s because their mouth is still developing, and they have a good mix of baby and adult teeth. This same treatment often becomes more complex once their jawbones stop growing, which generally occurs around 16-18 years old.

Interceptive orthodontic treatment can help us achieve lasting results for many common problems, and may also lessen the impact of others. However, it should be noted that most patients will still require a second phase of treatment with braces or aligners. This will round out the total treatment process, giving them a beautifully aligned smile they’ll be able to enjoy for many years to come! 

Observing your child’s smile as they grow

You already know that regular visits to the dentist are an essential part of keeping a child’s smile in good shape as they grow. But did you know that periodic evaluations with an orthodontist can also improve their oral health? If we don’t find any issues during your child’s initial visit, we’ll encourage you to bring them in for regular check-ups with our doctors. These are offered at no charge to you and come with many benefits, such as:

  • the detection of any hidden dental problems
  • a reduced need for jaw surgery later in life
  • the ability to guide emerging adult teeth into the ideal positions
  • a reduced risk of impacted teeth
  • a reduced need for tooth extractions in the future

Why Early Treatment Matters

Explore the benefits of early treatment with Kottemann Orthodontics

Early treatment won’t be necessary for all children, but it can be truly beneficial for those who do need it. When you address your child’s orthodontic issues early on, it can often help prevent more serious problems later on. This will save you time and money in the long run and will also get your child’s smile off to the best possible start! 

Interceptive orthodontics can also help improve the alignment between your child’s teeth and jaw, restoring the most optimal tooth and bite function. This will give them more stable results and a fully functioning smile! Is your young child ready for their first orthodontic evaluation? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our Chaska, Maple Grove, Orono, or Plymouth office! We look forward to helping your child take the first step towards a lifetime of healthy smiles.