What is ‘Phase I’ Orthodontic Treatment?

What is ‘Phase I’ Orthodontic Treatment?

When children's teeth, jaws, and mouths are still growing and developing, there is an opportunity for an orthodontist to identify issues that can become more serious problems later on, and begin to treat them straight away. This type of treatment is called Phase I (or early interceptive) treatment.

Orthodontists agree that children should have their first orthodontic evaluation by no later than the age of 7.

By this age, all the baby teeth have come in, and some of them are already beginning to fall out, to make room for adult teeth. This makes it possible for the orthodontist to identify and treat any developing problems.

What kinds of problems?

There are several different types of problems that an orthodontist can identify early on, and help circumvent. For example, an orthodontist will be able to tell if a child’s growing permanent teeth may be coming in crowded, impacted, or crooked.

Other problems include early or late loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, incorrect jaw alignment, and cross bites, all of which can become more serious problems as your child grows older, but can be treated early by an orthodontist.

What does Phase I Treatment Involve?

The details of early interceptive treatment will vary depending on the type of problem the child is experiencing, but often includes things like partial braces, palatal expanders, temporary anchorage devices, or head gear.

Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting problems may be treated with several different temporary or permanent habit breaking appliances, and/or with habit breaking therapy.

Phase I treatment is typically done to prepare for phase II treatment (full braces) later on, so keep in mind that your child may still need braces when his or her phase I treatment is finished.

However, phase one treatment can often limit the severity of an orthodontic problem, or eliminate it completely. This in turn means that later orthodontic treatment may not take as long, or and will have better results.

If you have have a child who is due for an orthodontic evaluation, contact Ridge Meadows Orthodontics today!

Book your first orthodontic consultation today at myOrthodontist Maple Ridge.