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What to Expect from Phase 1 Orthodontics

Published on May 12th, 2020

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is a short phase of orthodontic treatment that can be utilized between the ages of 6 and 9 years old while permanent teeth are just beginning to take the place of baby teeth. Phase 1 treatment allows the orthodontist to create space allowing the permanent teeth to develop and erupt into proper alignment right from the beginning.

Why Orthodontic Treatment at This Early Age?

Some people assume two phases of treatment will be more expensive than one, and that misaligned baby teeth don’t matter because your child will lose them eventually anyway. Both assumptions are untrue. Your child may benefit greatly from Phase 1 treatment, requiring a shorter (and less expensive) treatment later on. Furthermore, ignoring crowded or misaligned baby teeth can lead to other issues with your child’s overall health including difficulty speaking, eating, or breathing comfortably.

Phase 1 Therapies

Most Phase 1 treatments allow for structural changes in your child’s jaw as well as create space to guide the alignment of the permanent teeth. This first phase usually lasts between 9 and 12 months. While every situation is different, common Phase 1 orthodontic therapies include functional appliances, specialized retainers, space maintainers, expansion appliances, headgear, and limited use of braces on selected teeth.

There is typically a one or two year “resting period” after Phase I is complete. Your child’s mouth will continue developing on its own as the remaining permanent teeth erupt. During this time, appointments with your best orthodontist near Hinsdale may still be recommended to monitor the development of your child’s smile. A retainer may also be recommended to maintain the achievements of Phase 1 treatment.

Benefits of Phase 1 Treatment

If your child is around the age of 7, and you’re already noticing problems with the spacing of your child’s teeth, or issues with their jaw or bite, it may be time to make an appointment with the best orthodontist near Hinsdale. Many patients end up saving both time and money when they choose to have these issues corrected before they worsen. Phase 1 can mean simplified orthodontic treatment later on, or in some cases. it might eliminate the need for Phase 2 altogether.

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