What is ‘Phase I’ Orthodontic Treatment?

What is ‘Phase I’ Orthodontic Treatment?

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

Most orthodontists are in agreement that children should have their first orthodontic evaluation by no later than the age of 7.

All the baby teeth have come in by this time, and in some  cases are already beginning to fall out, to make room for adult teeth. This makes it a good time for the orthodontist to identify and treat any developing problems.

What kinds of problems?

Several different types of problemscan be identified and treated by an orthodontist early on. For instance, an orthodontist can tell if a child’s growing permanent teeth may be crowded, impacted, or crooked.

Other problems that can be dealt with early include early or late loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, incorrect jaw alignment, and cross bites. All of these issues 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 misalignment problem the child is experiencing. However, it often includes things like partial braces, palatal expanders, temporary anchorage devices, or head gear.

 Several different temporary or permanent habit breaking appliances, and/or with habit breaking therapies, are available to treat thumb sucking and tongue thrusting problems.

Phase I treatment is almost always done to prepare for phase II treatment (full braces) later on, so keep in mind that your child may still need braces when he or she is older.

However, the point of phase I treatment is to limit the severity of orthodontic problems, or eliminate it completely. This in turn means that later orthodontic treatment may not take as long or be as intensive, and may have better results.

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

Book your Smile Consultation today at Greater Vancouver Orthodontics!

(604) 662-3290