Some orthodontic conditions are easier to correct and can prevent more severe conditions when they are detected and treated at an early age. If your child’s early orthodontic consultation indicates that treatment is necessary, the first phase should begin right away, while your child still has most of their primary teeth. Early orthodontic interventions, also known as “Phase I” treatments, are designed to help correct existing issues and guide future growth and development to ensure your child’s smile is healthy and designed to last a lifetime.
What is Pediatric Orthodontics?
By age seven, your child’s mouth has enough structure and growth to allow an orthodontist to determine how it will develop as the permanent teeth start to emerge. Your child’s dentist is trained to identify bite issues at an early age and will refer a child to a 1st Family Dental orthodontist for an initial orthodontic consultation.
What are the benefits of Phase I Treatment and Early Intervention?
Pediatric orthodontics and Phase I intervention treatments are tailored specifically to the growth and development needs of your child. Some examples of treatment benefits include:
- Addressing and correcting issues that could be causing issues with the growth and development of your child’s permanent teeth, such as thumb sucking or tongue pushing
- Improving your child’s oral health care routines and habits
- Guiding permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Reducing possible damage to teeth that may be protruding
- Reducing or even preventing future and more invasive orthodontic or dental treatments
- Increasing your child’s self confidence and self esteem
What are the steps involved in Phase I early orthodontic treatment, and how long does it take?
The length and interventions for Phase I treatment will depend on the specific needs of your child, as well as their age and stage of dental development. Your child’s orthodontist may recommend taking records to show development and progression. These may include x-rays, photographs or study models (impressions of the teeth). Treatment options may include fixed or removable appliances such as space maintainers, as well as at-home interventions if needed to help improve oral health or address habits such as thumb sucking.
Phase I treatment is timed to coincide with your child’s unique development, and can continue until your child is old enough for the second phase of orthodontic treatment. Your child’s orthodontist will work with you to create a detailed and specific treatment plan during your consultation and will monitor progress with regular visits.
Cost and Insurance Coverage for Phase I pediatric orthodontic treatment
The cost of Phase I treatment varies with each child and their unique needs. Some dental insurance plans do offer orthodontic treatment coverage. Each plan is different, so our insurance specialists will carefully review your coverage details with you. Whether or not you have dental insurance, we offer interest free financing options and convenient payment schedules to help ensure your investment in your child’s future is also a manageable part of your monthly budget.
Signs and Symptoms
How do I know if my child might need Phase I or early orthodontic intervention?
Your child’s dentist is trained to identify bite issues at an early age and will refer a child to a 1st Family Dental orthodontist for an initial consultation. Age 7 is usually the most common time for the first orthodontic consultation.
We always recommend a complimentary consultation with an orthodontist if you notice the following issues:
- Protrusion of teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting, biting the insides of the lips or mouth
- Thumb/finger sucking or tongue thrusting habits past age 7
- Crowding or extra spacing between teeth
Where can I get Phase I orthodontic treatment for my child?
We are proud to offer Phase I orthodontic services at every 1st Family Dental location. Our licensed and experienced orthodontic specialists are accepting new patients.
How can I make an orthodontic consultation or appointment for my child?
Orthodontic consultations for pediatric and teenage patients are always complimentary at 1st Family Dental, and require no commitment to start treatment. Consultations typically do not require a large time commitment for you or your child, and consist primarily of an oral examination by the orthodontist, followed by an in-depth discussion about their observations and any treatment recommendations.