Early/Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment usually starts around the age of 7-9 where there is a mixture of adult and baby teeth. The main purpose of such treatment is to reduce or eliminate the developing orthodontic problem and reducing the need for treatment later on. Often this treatment will take advantage of the early growth spurt, taking a difficult orthodontic problem and making it into a more manageable one.
When treatment is begun early, your orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment in some cases. In short, when necessary, sensible and conservative early treatment can lead to a faster, easier, more predictable and successful later treatment.
Most early treatments still require a second phase of treatment at the adult dentition stage to achieve the final bite.