In past generations, orthodontics was most commonly used to treat a problem in teenagers or once all the permanent teeth have erupted. However, research has shown that in some cases early treatment, also known as Interceptive Orthodontics, is beneficial.
In cases where a patient has some baby teeth and some adult teeth it may be beneficial to have interceptive treatment. The second (permanent) teeth erupt (grow through) into a mouth which is also growing and the environment is changing. During the period of eruption, changes occur as a result of jaw growth, early loss of baby (deciduous) teeth, sucking habits and soft tissue forces. It may be possible to favourably influence some of these factors through interceptive treatment. It can be used to maximize tooth movement and reduce trauma or potential damage. Not only can it have a beneficial effect on the patients developing dentition, growth and oral hygiene, but also through early intervention the patient may avoid the upset of having teeth who’s appearance they are unhappy with. By developing the dental arches early on, the teeth can often erupt into more favourable positions and may reduce the complexity of later orthodontic treatment.