What is first-phase orthodontics?
First-phase orthodontic treatment is recommended when one or more of the following problems are found between the ages of 7 and 10:
- severe overcrowding of the teeth and narrow jaw development
- excessive overbite of the upper teeth and jaw
- excessive growth of the lower jaw (underbite)
- harmful habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
- severe spacing of the teeth
Why is treatment needed now?
First-phase treatment can prevent the need for removal of permanent teeth, impaction of the eye teeth, or the need for jaw surgery in the future. The best results are achieved before all the permanent teeth appear and while the facial bones are still growing.
You will see an improvement in your child’s smile, facial appearance, and self-esteem. When protruding front teeth are corrected, the risk of injury to the front teeth is lessened. Younger children are more comfortable with many of the appliances used during first-phase treatment than they would be later on, during their teenage years.
We have found that more stable, long-term results can be achieved, especially with severe bite problems. By beginning treatment earlier, we can achieve results not possible once facial and jaw structures have finished growing.
What will treatment be like?
First-phase orthodontic treatment will often include:
- palatal expansion appliance
- partial set of braces on the upper or lower teeth
- habit appliance
How long will treatment take?
The first phase of orthodontic treatment usually lasts 12 to 18 months. After treatment, your child will wear retainers for six months and then visit our office every six to 12 months to monitor the growth and development of the permanent teeth.
Will any more treatment be needed?
In most cases, a second phase of orthodontic treatment will be needed to correct the positions of all the new permanent teeth and complete the correction of a healthy bite. The second phase will begin at age 12 or 13, include a full set of upper and lower braces, and last between 18 and 24 months.
Early treatment for the best results
You will discover that by using the most advanced techniques, first-phase orthodontics is a wonderful opportunity for your child to have the finest orthodontic treatment available.
Congratulations! Your son or daughter is on the way to a healthy bite and beautiful smile.