Does My Child Need Phase One Orthodontics?

Posted on January 1, 2020 | Hot Topics | Orthodontics

Does My Child Need Phase One Orthodontics?

When most people hear the word orthodontics, they think of a teenager in braces. But orthodontic treatment can be more than just straightening teeth, and it can begin long before puberty. How do you know if Phase One orthodontic treatment is right for your child (also known as early orthodontic treatment of interceptive orthodontics)? 

Some children have discrepancies in the jaw that are obvious before all of their permanent teeth have arrived. That’s where Phase One orthodontics comes in. Phase One is orthodontic treatment that is done before all of the permanent teeth have emerged, often between ages six and ten. The goal of early detection and early treatment is not to straighten teeth, but rather to correct positional issues that will inevitably get worse over time. Since the goal is not to straighten teeth, early treatment can begin before your child has lost all of their baby teeth. We recommend that children with orthodontic concerns come in for a consultation by age seven. With a preemptive plan to adjust any developmental abnormalities, your child will be on a trajectory for a healthy bite, proper jaw function, and a winning smile. 

Here are a few things to note about Phase One orthodontics:

  1. We will never straighten baby teeth. The goal of early treatment is to care for jaw positioning and to plan for future, permanent teeth. Appearance is not our first priority in this stage of the game.
  2. Early treatment is proactive. While addressing issues with the jaw and bite, it can also minimize the need for jaw surgery later in life and shorten time spent in braces during middle and high school. 
  3. Treatment is not “one size fits all.” Whereas the standard treatment for teeth-straightening is braces, early orthodontic care will differentiate depending on the child’s needs. 
  4. Phase One treatment will not be recommended by your doctor unless it is deemed necessary with a clear advantage for the health of your child. Phase One isn’t for everyone!

Early detection gives you the opportunity to catch a problem before it becomes an issue. Benefits include influencing healthy jaw growth and function, correcting harmful oral habits, shortening treatment time for future corrective orthodontic treatments, improving speech problems, and making space for the emergence of permanent teeth. 

If you are concerned that your child may need Phase One orthodontic treatment, our team will be happy to schedule a consultation. Growing up shouldn’t be complicated, and neither should your orthodontic care.

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