The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that ALL Children come in for an initial consultation around age 7
Why might Phase 1 treatment be recommended?
- A posterior crossbite: where the top teeth are narrower than the bottom teeth
- An anterior crossbite: where the front teeth are in an underbite
- Severe crowding: where teeth erupt in an abnormal position or cannot erupt and become impacted
- An anterior open bite: where the top and bottom teeth don’t overlap. Often be caused by thumb sucking or tongue thrusting habits
- Early loss of baby teeth (extractions or due to crowding) that may require space maintenance
- Airway issues such as thumb or finger habits, snoring, and sleep apnea
- Decreased risk of trauma to teeth and gums
- Self-esteem and social issues
Prevent Common Jaw Growth Issues and Future Tooth Impactions
The idea behind Phase 1 treatment is that if we intervene early while a child is still growing, we have a greater ability to improve the growth and development of the teeth and jaws.
Very often, this may prevent the development of dental and facial asymmetry, reduce the likelihood of needing tooth extractions, and possibly reduce the need for future jaw surgery.
What Questions to Ask
No matter how your child’s teeth appear on the outside, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that ALL children come in for an initial consultation to ensure the teeth and jaws are developing normally around age 7. Frequently, your orthodontist may tell you everything is normal and will recommend that you come in every 6 months to one year for follow-up visits until they are ready for comprehensive treatment. However, when Phase 1 treatment is recommended, consider asking the following questions so you’re fully informed:
- What problems will you address with Phase 1 treatment?
- If we opt not to do Phase 1 treatment, what are some potential long-term consequences?
- Will a second phase of treatment be needed?
Phase 1 is a great option if your child has social esteem issues about their teeth or if they have any dental or jaw issues or breathing issues such as snoring or sleep apnea that are best corrected at an early age. A second phase of treatment when the adult teeth may be needed to finalize the smile and make the bite fit together perfectly.