As parents, it is our duty to ensure that our little ones are receiving the care they need in order to grow up as healthy and happy as possible. Part of this is ensuring that they regularly attend their dental appointments as recommended to make sure that their teeth are healthy and growing in correctly. If your child’s orthodontist has informed you that your child will need Phase 1 orthodontics, you may have a considerable amount of questions. Continue reading for more information about Phase 1 orthodontics, and what it means for both you and your child.
What Does Phase 1 Orthodontics Mean?
Phase 1 is the first stage of orthodontic intervention that is done while the child’s baby teeth are still erupted or present in the mouth. It is meant to act as an early intervention in the case that the orthodontist sees cause for concern. By the time a child has reached the age of seven, it is recommended that they have an examination done by an orthodontist for a prognosis on the way the teeth are erupting. By the age of seven, all of the baby teeth should have erupted in the mouth. Having the baby teeth erupted allows the orthodontist to examine the jaw and teeth in order to form a prediction for the growth of the teeth. This examination allows for early intervention in the case that the orthodontist feels that the teeth are or may become crooked, spaced apart, or crowded.
Why Does My Child Need Phase 1?
If your visit with the orthodontist has left you with various questions, you are not alone. Many people wonder why it is exactly that their child has been recommended for Phase 1 orthodontics. An orthodontist may recommend Phase 1 treatment for the following reasons:
- Crowding in the teeth
- Obstruction of the eruption of adult teeth by baby teeth that are still in place
- Abnormal placement of teeth
- Spacing between the teeth/gapping
- Crooked teeth
- Unproportionate jaw
What Is Done During Phase 1 Treatment?
Because Phase 1 is intended to work as an early intervention to prevent serious orthodontic issues later in life, in some cases no immediate treatment is needed until the child enters Phase 2 treatment, which is the application of braces. In the case that the orthodontist feels immediate treatment is needed, he or she will recommend treatment that will further aide the teeth in erupting as they should. Palatal expanders are often used during Phase 1; this is a device that is placed on the roof of the mouth to ensure that the upper arch of teeth is expanded, leaving enough room for each tooth to erupt in their own space. The specific treatment during Phase 1 is completely dependent on your child’s prognosis and the orthodontist’s recommendation.
Orthodontics may seem complicated and intimidating at first glance, but your child’s orthodontist will be happy to walk you through each step to ensure that you are both comfortable with what is going on during treatment. Speak with both your child and the orthodontist at Willow Glen Dental Specialists (WGDS) to build a solid understanding of what you can both expect during orthodontic treatment.