Early Treatment – Phase I

Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth.

Early treatment (also known as phase one) typically begins around age eight or nine (phase two will begin around age 11 or older). The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.

The goal of phase one treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age six are found to have haw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 13.)

  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Your child continues sucking their thumb after age five
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth
  • Extend away from each other)
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes
  • Their mouth (crossbites)
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
What causes orthodontic problems, and how will early prevention benefit my child?

Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb sucking habits.

Most children have lost all their baby teeth by age 13 and by the end of their teen years the jaw bones will harden and no longer continue to grow. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve extraction and the possibility of oral surgery. As a child, receiving early orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for PHASE TOW TREATMENT as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future. If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile.

PHASE TWO TREATMENT

A Healthy and Beautiful Smile

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.

Movement & Retention

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plans established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually, requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.