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Early Intervention & 2 phase treatment

Phase 1

Phase I (Interceptive Treatment) is indicated for some orthodontic problems. It usually begins when the permanent first molars and permanent incisors are erupted (age 6 or 7). The goal of Phase I treatment is to "intercept" an orthodontic problem before it becomes more severe and/or more difficult to treat. Problems commonly treated in Phase 1 include severe skeletal imbalances, crossbites and severe crowding. Interceptive treatment can make difficult orthodontic problems more manageable. In addition, early correction of some problems produces the most stable results. Most Phase I patients will require a second phase of treatment (Phase II) for optimal results.

Phase 2

Phase II treatment usually occurs a number of years later when most or all of the permanent teeth have erupted. (Generally age 11-12). The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve optimal alignment and bite of all permanent teeth. Second-phase treatment most often consists of straight-forward orthodontic therapy that will align the teeth. Phase II involves full braces, which give maximum control over the movement of teeth. The correction of rotated teeth, and any movement of teeth that involves more than simple tipping movements, are best achieved with braces.

Your Tips to knowing your child’s teeth…..

The following early signs may be helpful to detect orthodontic problems in your child:

Look at your child’s teeth. If you see crooked teeth, gaps between the teeth or overlapped teeth, your child may need orthodontic treatment.

Ask your child to bite all the way down, keeping their lips open. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? If you see any of these conditions an orthodontist should evaluate your child.

Look at the alignment of your child's jaw. Does the jaw shift off center when your child bites down? If you see any malalignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem.

Other common signs include:

  • Early or late loss of primary teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking habits beyond age 5
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
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