Phase One orthodontic treatment can begin in children as young as six or seven years of age. This stage of treatment is designed to address problems with the smile’s alignment that are evident quite early. Phase Two of treatment typically involves conventional dental braces. The need for Phase Two treatment is highly individualized and dependent on the specifics of your child’s unique case. While many patients will go on to some form of Phase Two treatment, some may not ultimately need traditional orthodontic appliances.
The treatment process begins with an evaluation by an orthodontist. At that time, the need for Phase One treatment is determined. Then, based on the outcomes of Phase One, it will be more clear whether the patient will need to have the teeth realigned using dental braces.
Your orthodontist can use Phase One interventions to address a number of concerns, including:
- Open bites
- Congenitally missing teeth
- Issues that interfere with the proper eruption of the permanent teeth
Phase One treatment may entail manipulating the growth pattern of the jaws, reversing the results of bad oral habits, like thumb-sucking, or guiding the positioning of the permanent teeth. These interventions may aim to correct a problem that has emerged or to prevent one from developing in the first place.
The orthodontist should be able to advise you as to the Phase One treatment timeline so that you will have a better idea of what to anticipate. Early in the process, the provider may also be able to give you some insights into whether other children with similar cases have ultimately needed dental braces, although this will not be a guarantee of how your child’s case will proceed.
Parents should consult with an orthodontic specialist to learn more about Phase One treatments that may be indicated in their child’s case, as well as the likelihood that Phase Two treatment will be recommended as well. Call our office at 210-921-9191 to schedule a preliminary evaluation.