Phase I Orthodontics (Age 7-10)

The majority of patients undergoing orthodontic care are between the ages of 11-17.  It is during this time that comprehensive treatment is most efficient. However, there are some children that require interceptive/limited treatment at a younger age (Phase 1) in order to prevent trauma, asymmetric jaw growth, breathing disturbances, tooth impactions, and space loss. Therefore, Dr. Kuzmic and the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic screening by the age of 7 to evaluate:

  • Whether the jaws are proportionate to the face
  • Habitual thumb/finger/tongue habit
  • Breathing pattern
  • Early or delayed tooth loss
  • Severe overbites causing teeth to be at risk for trauma
  • Cross bites that may cause asymmetric growth of the jaws
  • Severe crowding or impactions

Dr. Kuzmic will only recommend Phase I therapy when it is, in his opinion, truly necessary. He prefers to simply let kids be kids unless they will receive a significant benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to bring my child to an orthodontist?

If your child is at least 7 years old or is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

What should I expect at my child’s first orthodontist appointment?

Your child’s first orthodontic visit will include a detailed examination by Dr. Kuzmic.  Based on the results of his analysis, he will discuss options and timeframes for treatment if applicable.

Will I need to follow any special instructions if my child is fitted for a dental appliance?

Yes. If your child is fitted for a fixed orthodontic appliance, such as braces, an expander, or a space maintainer, you will need to follow careful instructions to ensure the device is not damaged or broken. This includes monitoring your child’s diet to ensure it does not include hard foods, candies, popcorn kernels, or anything else that could cause damage. You’ll also need to ensure your child properly brushings and flosses around the appliance to protect the teeth from decay during treatment.

If my child has Phase I treatment, will they require treatment again when all of their permanent teeth are in?

Phase I treatment is designed to prevent trauma, asymmetric growth of the jaws, and optimize eruption of the permanent teeth. Almost every patient will still require a comprehensive second phase of treatment once all of the permanent teeth are in, however it should be much less complicated than it would have been without Phase I interceptive treatment.

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