What is Phase 1 orthodontic treatment and what can it do for my child?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment can have many benefits for your child when it is needed. But what is Phase 1 treatment and what does it actually do? We’re diving into what you need to know about this treatment type!

What is Phase 1 treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is an interceptive method of treatment that focuses on the growth of your child’s jaw. If there is a jaw issue, such as a cross-bite, it is much easier to fix when your child is still growing, and the results end up being more stable.

The best time to address jaw issues with phase one treatment is between the ages of 7 and 9 when there’s plenty of growing left to do. We work closely with dentists to make sure they are watching out for jaw issues so that we can catch problems and start to treat them at the opportune time.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits of Phase 1 treatment. Fixing jaw issues can improve the overall aesthetics of the face and smile. Often, parents bring their children in for treatment because something just looks “off.” With early treatment, we can help guide the jaw and bite to correct any issues that may be affecting how a child’s face or smile looks. Addressing problems early on can also be a boost to your child’s self-esteem as they go through school.

Phase 1 treatment also makes room for permanent teeth. This can help prevent future crowding of teeth, and therefore help avoid the need for extractions or having to deal with impacted teeth later on.

What about Phase 2?

If your child needs Phase 1 treatment, you may be wondering about the next step. Just because Phase 1 makes more room for permanent teeth, that does not mean those teeth will end up coming in straight. Three out of four kids will also need Phase 2 treatment to straighten their permanent teeth when they come in. This may involve braces or aligners to move the teeth into alignment. Phase 1 treatment can even reduce the time your child will be in braces!

Earlier is better!

The potential need for Phase 1 treatment is an important reason to follow the AAO’s rule of starting to see an orthodontist at the age of seven. It may seem early, but the earlier we start seeing your child, the better chance we have of being able to address their needs, decide if they would benefit from Phase 1 treatment, and set them up to have a beautiful smile for life!

You can learn more about Phase 1 treatment on our website. If your child is around the age of needing to see an orthodontist, make an appointment with us! We’re on your team and want a beautiful smile for your child as much as you do, which is why we offer complimentary consultations for our new patients. Come see us today!