We have the
treatment for you

What is Phase 1 Treatment?

Orthodontics for Children

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist by the age of 7 to screen for developing issues. At this age, children still have baby teeth and treatment at this time is referred to as “Phase I” orthodontics. Phase I treatment may not prevent the need for full orthodontic treatment in the future, but it will likely make treatment less complicated and provide your child more treatment options when he/she is ready for braces.

We typically only recommend Phase I treatment for the following reasons:

  1. To make and/or preserve space for the adult teeth to erupt into their correct positions.
  2. To correct bite discrepancies so that the jaws can grow symmetrically.
  3. If there are social concerns that are affecting the child’s self esteem.
  4. If there is a finger-sucking habit present that is influencing the development of the teeth/jaws.

Often, we find that the jaws and teeth are developing without issue and no treatment is needed. In this case, we will see your child every 6 months at no cost so that we can monitor their growth and development. During these monitoring visits, we will continue to look for developing issues and recommend treatment, if necessary.

White Rock Orthodontics believes in conservative Phase I treatment and will only treat children this young if it is a necessity. We believe that all of our patients, especially young children, should LOVE coming to see us, so we try to limit Phase I treatment to less than one year. In addition, your child will be enrolled in our Early Smiles Club to help keep them motivated and excited for their orthodontic appointments!

What can early treatment accomplish?

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems

For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.

How do I know if my child needs to see an orthodontist?

If you notice any of the following conditions, you may want to bring your child to an orthodontist.

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • A hard time chewing or biting food
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.

Early Smiles Club

Early Smiles Club badge featuring Rocky the Orthosaurus

At White Rock Orthodontics, we developed our Early Smiles Club to provide our young patients with a positive first orthodontic experience so that they have fun at their visits and are excited about their orthodontic treatment.

Learn more

Dentally speaking, teens have all of their permanent teeth, just like adults. The major difference is that teens are usually still growing, while adults are not. Because teens are growing rapidly, orthodontic treatment in teens can be more efficient AND can provide more treatment options than for adults. That’s why we usually start treatment during the “teen years”. Regardless, both teens and adults can choose braces or clear aligners to align their teeth.

Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.

Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment:

  • A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
  • TMJ pain and headaches
  • Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly leading to tooth decay or gum disease
  • Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile