You will be surprised how early orthodontic treatment, including teeth straightening, can solve childhood dental problems. Crooked teeth, overcrowding, and tooth decay are some of the issues children face early in life. These days, parents have finally realized the importance of proper dental health. They know how it can affect the kids’ well-being.Teeth straightening is…
Phase 1 Orthodontics FAQs
Phase 1 orthodontics involves treatment to adjust the position of the teeth in the mouth. This treatment begins in patients between ages six and nine to correct misaligned teeth. Because patients are young, they have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth. Some parents worry about phase 1 orthodontics and what it entails. These are some frequently asked questions about phase 1 orthodontics.
Who can benefit
As many as three out of four children experience abnormal jaw growth or crowding issues. Between the ages of six and nine, many kids lose their deciduous or baby teeth and have new permanent teeth come in faster than kids experience jaw growth. This uneven development can lead to overcrowding and misalignment. This, in turn, can cause long-term issues with bite, chewing, abnormal tooth wear, and concerns about appearance. Children who show early signs of these issues can be good candidates for phase 1 orthodontic care.
What are some of the procedures?
There are several ways that orthodontists can treat overcrowding and misalignment. These procedures differ from one patient to another. The doctor will take into account how well a patient will do with some therapies like headgear or retainers. Some of the most common procedures include:
- Tooth extraction: orthodontists may extract one or more teeth in the patient’s mouth. The teeth that the doctor extracts will depend. It could be due to overcrowding, or it could be because it is preventing a permanent tooth from coming in properly. Sometimes, baby teeth do not come out when they should, so the doctor will pull them
- Space maintainers: if the orthodontist pulls some teeth in order to allow for the permanent teeth underneath to come up, then they may place space maintainers or spacers. This allows the adult teeth to come in without the obstruction of the previous tooth. By creating space, it allows the tooth to align better. An expansion appliance works similarly to create more space for future tooth eruption
- Braces: in phase 1 orthodontics, braces are often limited over a small expanse of teeth. Because the teeth are often mixed, braces would be used on the permanent teeth to correct misalignment. These braces can move teeth that have shifted off-center. Even limited braces can close unwanted spaces
Is my child too young?
Doctors recommend phase 1 orthodontics for children at this age because the goal is to reduce future dental problems. In later adolescence, the jawbone hardens, and teeth set firmly. It is much harder to correct alignment. As adult teeth begin to replace baby teeth, the orthodontist can note if teeth begin to turn or protrude. Misaligned teeth can cause overbite, underbite, and abnormal tooth wear.
Consult your dentist about phase 1 orthodontics
Phase 1 orthodontic care is personalized. Some children with cleft lip or cleft palate may need phase 1 orthodontics along with other corrective procedures. Other children have several adult teeth come in before the jaw has grown large enough to accommodate them. It can be difficult to know whether to wait or to take action. A consultation with an orthodontist can help to figure out what issues may be going on.
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