Interceptive Orthodontics

Walnut Creek, CA

Did you know that orthodontic evaluations should be part of your child's routine dental care starting at age 7? At Creekside Kids Dentistry, we monitor your child's bite to ensure it is developing the way it should. If we detect any potential concerns, we may recommend interceptive orthodontics, a valuable tool in guiding proper oral development.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 Orthodontic Screenings

We use panoramic x-rays to capture a comprehensive view of your child's teeth, jaws, and surrounding structures. Our advanced digital imaging technology helps us identify potential orthodontic problems early on. If specialized orthodontic care is necessary, we will refer your child to a partner orthodontist for treatment.

Orthodontic treatment often involves two phases:

  • Phase 1: This early interceptive phase typically starts between ages 7 and 11 when there is still a mix of baby and adult teeth. It usually focuses on addressing issues like growth discrepancies, severe crowding, protruding teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits, like thumb sucking. Phase 1 orthodontics can help create a better environment for the emerging permanent teeth.
  • Phase 2: This phase usually begins when most of the permanent teeth have erupted, typically between ages 12 and 16. Depending on your child's need, phase 2 orthodontic treatment may involve wearing traditional braces or aligners to straighten the teeth and refine the bite.

Why Start So Young?

Many parents wonder why we begin orthodontic evaluations at such a young age. Around age 6 or 7, your child will have some permanent front teeth and the first set of molars, known as the 6-year molars. This is an important stage of development, which allows us to determine how the bite will likely develop and whether early intervention is recommended.

While not every child will need orthodontic treatment at a young age, some children benefit from early intervention, which is instrumental in guiding proper development. Children who undergo interceptive or phase one orthodontics may still require braces or other oral appliances later in life. However, future treatments are usually shorter and less complex.

Without early intervention, older teens and adults often require tooth extraction or jaw surgery to achieve straight smiles. Early interceptive treatment, however, can guide jaw growth to ensure the best possible treatment outcomes.

Palatal Expansion - Guiding Proper Development

One of the most common treatments recommended in phase 1 orthodontics is palatal expansion. The procedure involves using an orthodontic device to expand the upper jaw to create more space to accommodate the incoming teeth, allowing them to grow into proper alignment. Correcting the width of a child's jaw can help improve teeth crowding, crossbites, underbites, and other jaw abnormalities.

Space Maintainers - Preserving Space for the Permanent Teeth

If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely due to decay or injury, our dental team may recommend an oral appliance known as a space maintainer. The orthodontic device helps prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting into the gap, which can affect the alignment of the emerging permanent teeth. Space maintainers are custom-created for your child's smile and remain in place until it is time for the adult teeth to naturally come in.

How We Help Our Patients Feel Right at Home

At Creekside Kids Dentistry, we strive to ensure every visit to our office is a happy, stress-free experience. Here are some ways we help our young patients feel right at home:

  • Our friendly team spares no effort to create a warm, happy atmosphere where even the most anxious patients feel safe, comfortable, and at ease.
  • We use cutting-edge technology to provide our young patients with the best possible dental experience.
  • We use visual aids and explain procedures in age-appropriate terms to help our young patients know what to expect.
  • We always take the time to answer every question and address every concern.
  • We use a variety of tools and techniques, including nitrous oxide sedation, to help our young patients relax in the dentist's chair.

Interceptive Orthodontics Near Me in Walnut Creek, CA

At Creekside Kids Dentistry, we are committed to providing comprehensive dental care to our young patients in Walnut Creek, including proactive orthodontic evaluations. The sooner a problem is detected and addressed, the better the outcomes. We look forward to paving the way for a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles.

Call 925-465-1200 to schedule an appointment or book one online today!


Schedule Your Child's Appointment Today!

At Creekside Kid's Dentistry, we make it easy for you to schedule your child's appointment using our online scheduling system. We can't wait to see you!