Many times, based on the examination of your child’s mouth, the orthodontist believes that he or she will benefit from two separate phases of orthodontic treatment.
A first phase is done while the child has most of their baby teeth and it has limited but definitive goals.
Some of the problems treated in phase I may be:
-Crossbite correction with palatal expanders to relieve crowding, avoid tooth impactions and interferences and jaw shifting.
-Growth Modification treatment or Dental facial orthopedics is limited to a certain age group. Such treatment can include headgears to protract maxillary complex in underbites in young children (age 6 or 7), or restrict maxillary growth while the lower jaw is catching up for overbites (ages 11-12). This powerful option is to take advantage of your child’s growth and development and avoid if possible corrective jaw surgery in the future, of treated after growth is completed.
-Correction of harmful habits that can worsen the bite if left untreated.
-Interceptive/preventive treatment with space maintainers, functional appliances or partial braces.
The problems with bad bites (malocclusion) and overcrowding of the teeth start at a young age as a baby develops into an infant and so on. Improper breathing, problems in the nose, mouth and ears and thumb sucking can all create problems for the dental facial growth. These problems can create problems for adults later in life so it is crucial to have these problems checked out as early as possible but treatment can be performed at any age.
The goal of this short phase of treatment is to create a better environment for your child’s permanent teeth. Most likely, a second phase willl follow once all remaining permanent teeth will be available.