Early Treatment (Ages 4-10)

What is Phase 1 orthodontic treatment?

It is the first phase of a two-phase or multiphase orthodontic treatment process to improve function and the appearance of your child’s teeth. Phase I treatment incorporates principles of both dentofacial orthopedics (altering habits, muscle, and bony relationships) and orthodontics (movement of teeth).

Not all 4-10 year old children with tooth malpositions require a two phase treatment approach. Your orthodontist will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a multiphase treatment program for your child. Common Phase I case types are shown below.

  • Younger patients usually adapt more easily to orthopedic appliance requirements and tissue response is better.
  • Early improvement of the oral environment enhances self-esteem.
  • Early intervention improves long-term stability.
  • Patient will spend less time in full braces (Phase II treatment) during their teenage years.

“Before and after “ photos below are patients who were treated by Drs. Musich and Busch.

Open bite and contributing habits

  • Finger or thumb habits, “Bite” habits, mouth breathing habits, tongue habits, can all have a negative impact on dentofacial development.

Small lower jaw with upper protrusion

Lower Jaw Deficiency [Before and After Photos]

Referred to as Class II problems by dental professionals.

  • Phase I treatment reduces severity of the skeletal problem, improves chewing function and enhances facial appearance and self-esteem.
  • Moving the teeth to their proper position can also prevent “sport trauma” to front teeth and subsequent dental injuries.

Upper jaw deficiency with crossbite

Upper Jaw Deficiency [Before and After Photos]

Referred to as Class III problems by dental professionals.

  • These growth problems should be treated early to minimize trauma, avoid damage to the teeth that are out of place, and to improve facial balance.

Jaw constriction problems

Palate Constriction & Crowding [Before and After Photos]

  • When the upper jaw is too narrow, the molars and “eye” teeth can grow into a reduced perimeter resulting in crowding of the teeth.
  • This problem is best corrected before the upper jaw growth is complete.

There are several other types of orthodontic problems that benefit from Phase I intervention. After examining your child, your orthodontist can advise you about the appropriateness of Phase I treatment for your child.