Phase 1 Orthodontics
At Abra Dental (formerly ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles), we believe that early interceptive orthodontic treatment is essential to prevent serious oral health issues in the future and creates a proper foundation for normal jaw development and eruption of permanent teeth.
Interceptive orthodontic treatment aims to help correct any orthodontic problems and support jaw growth in children by early intervention in order to improve future outcomes. Interceptive orthodontic treatment has two phases that work to improve the child’s dental structure. With these early appointments, an orthodontist will be able to spot any existing problems in the mouth as well as recommend treatment.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), children should have an evaluation by an orthodontist around the age of seven. By seven, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws, allowing them to spot any potential problems that may cause oral health issues down the road.
What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?
Phase 1 Orthodontics, also known as early interceptive orthodontics, is done before all of the permanent teeth have erupted (Phase 2 is done when the permanent teeth have emerged). This phase of orthodontic treatment typically occurs between the ages of six and ten. The goal of Phase 1 Treatment is to ensure normal jaw development and that the child’s jaw has enough room for the future eruption of permanent teeth.
In most cases, this early correction phase can prevent dental trauma or the removal of permanent teeth. The dentist may provide the child with a dental appliance, such as braces or a simpler orthodontic appliance, such as headgear. Other orthodontic therapies may include functional appliances, retainers, space maintainers, or expansion appliances.
While most parents believe that misaligned baby teeth are harmful because they’ll eventually fall out, this is not true. Baby teeth serve an important purpose by saving space for the child’s future permanent teeth.
Early treatment presents the opportunity to:
- Correct harmful oral habits, such as thumb sucking
- Improve aesthetics
- Improve speech development
- Positively influence jaw growth
- Simplify or shorten treatment time for later orthodontic treatments, such as decreasing the amount of time that your child has to wear braces
- Create a proper foundation for the eruption of permanent teeth
Will My Child Benefit from Phase 1 Orthodontics?
If your child is undergoing any of the following dental issues, they may benefit from Phase 1 Orthodontics if:
- They have protruding teeth
- They have speaking issues
- They have crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth
- They have misaligned teeth
- They have slurred speech or other speaking problems
- They mouth breathe often
- They have a habit of thumb sucking
- Their baby teeth have not fallen out in time
- The jaws are disproportionate in size
However, even if your child doesn’t show any of the signs or symptoms, they may still be a candidate and benefit from Phase 1 Orthodontics. While your child may not need any orthodontic therapies now, they may need them in the future.
What Phase 1 Orthodontics Entails
Phase 1 Orthodontics can be used to enhance the growth of your child’s jaw. It may also be used to create space in the mouth, allowing the eruption of the permanent teeth to align properly. Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment typically lasts 9 to 12 months; however, treatment length is individualized for each patient.
At Abra Dental, we offer Phase 1 Orthodontics so that your child can receive early interceptive orthodontic treatment. We believe that early intervention is the best way to help prevent larger dental issues down the road.
Schedule an appointment at Abra Dental (formerly ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles) to start your child on their path to a straighter, healthier smile!