Treatments are designed to help correct existing issues and guide future growth and development to ensure your child’s smile is healthy and designed to last a lifetime.
Some orthodontic conditions are easier to correct and can prevent more severe conditions when they are detected and treated at an early age. If your child’s early orthodontic consultation indicates that treatment is necessary, the first phase should begin right away, while your child still has most of their primary teeth. Early orthodontic interventions, also known as “Phase I” treatments, are designed to help correct existing issues and guide future growth and development to ensure your child’s smile is healthy and designed to last a lifetime.
What is Pediatric Orthodontics?
By age seven, your child’s mouth has enough structure and growth to allow an orthodontist to determine how it will develop as the permanent teeth start to emerge.
What are the benefits of Phase I Treatment and Early Intervention?
Pediatric orthodontics and Phase I intervention treatments are tailored specifically to the growth and development needs of your child.
Some examples of treatment benefits include:
Addressing and correcting issues that could be causing issues with the growth and development of your child’s permanent teeth, such as thumb sucking or tongue pushing
Improving your child’s oral health care routines and habits
Guiding permanent teeth into a more favorable position
Reducing possible damage to teeth that may be protruding
Reducing or even preventing future and more invasive orthodontic or dental treatments
Increasing your child’s self confidence and self esteem
What are the steps involved in Phase I early orthodontic treatment, and how long does it take?
The length and interventions for Phase I treatment will depend on the specific needs of your child, as well as their age and stage of dental development. Your child’s orthodontist may recommend taking records to show development and progression. These may include x-rays, photographs or study models (impressions of the teeth).
Treatment options may include fixed or removable appliances such as space maintainers, as well as at-home interventions if needed to help improve oral health or address habits such as thumb sucking.
Phase I treatment is timed to coincide with your child’s unique development, and can continue until your child is old enough for the second phase of orthodontic treatment. Your child’s orthodontist will work with you to create a detailed and specific treatment plan during your consultation and will monitor progress with regular visits.
How do I know if my child might need Phase I or early orthodontic intervention?
Age 7 is usually the most common time for the first orthodontic consultation.
We recommend a consultation with our orthodontist if you notice the following issues:
Protrusion of teeth
Difficulty chewing or biting, biting the insides of the lips or mouth
Thumb/finger sucking or tongue thrusting habits past age 7
Crowding or extra spacing between teeth
Orthodontics is a great way to improve your self-confidence and create a beautiful, healthy smile that you can share with everyone you meet.