Early Orthodontic Treatment
Also called “Phase I” or “Interceptive Treatment”Look for these orthodontic warning signs in 7 a year old or older
Is there a deep bite?The upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth too much. More than 50% is too much.
Is there an underbite?The upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth or line up edge to edge.
Do the upper teeth protrude?Excessive protrusion of the upper front teeth – “buck teeth” – is by far the most common orthodontic problem.
Is there an open bite?The child can stick his or her tongue between the upper and lower front teeth when the back teeth are together.
How is spacing between the teeth?Crowded or overlapped teeth….or noticeably large gaps between teeth.
Do the midlines line up?The upper front teeth and the lower front lower teeth should line up with each other and both should line up with the bridge of the nose. When they do not, the probable cause is drifted teeth or a shifted lower jaw, resulting in an improper bite. Let us explain why and present options to correct the problem.
Commonly Asked Questions
- Create room for crowded teeth
- Preserving space for future permanent teeth
- Anterior or posterior cross-bites -Reducing the need for permanent tooth removal
- Reducing overall treatment time with braces
- Address facial asymmetries to lessen or eliminate the long term effects
- Reduce the RISK of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Constricted (narrow) jaws can result from thumb sucking, which require treatment
- Timing in regards to growth spurts in jaw growth can be a huge advantage
- Discovering any missing or extra teeth
Phase I (interceptive treatment)
This may begin as early as 6-9 years of age. At this age, your child usually has 12 of their permanent teeth present. This treatment helps correct harmful jaw discrepancies and makes dental adjustments that are best-taken care of while the patient is growing. The treatment usually lasts for 12-18 months. Some reasons for interceptive treatment may be “buck teeth”, persistent thumb sucking habit, deficient jaw growth, early loss of baby teeth and maligned anterior teeth. It is very important to remember that Phase I treatment does not always eliminate the need for later treatment of the permanent teeth (phase II).