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A Kid-Friendly Dentist Discusses Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment
Considering orthodontic treatment for your child? Read on to learn more about Phase 1 orthodontic treatment from a kid-friendly dentist. Braces are often implemented in phases to treat children’s individual dental issues.
An overview of orthodontic treatment from a kid-friendly dentist
Orthodontic treatment options are now more extensive and dynamic for both practitioners and patients than in the past. With a wide variety of treatment options, patients, including children, can work toward a new smile that is both cosmetically attractive and promotes overall mouth health. The following is a kid-friendly dentist's description of the phases of orthodontic treatment:
Phase 1 treatment
This phase can be thought of as the planning or preparation phase. Phase 1, or “interceptive” orthodontics, can be used to correct crossbite, crowding, deep overbite, and spacing issues in younger children. Additionally, children who have problems with the jaw that affect dental health or the teeth can benefit from early orthodontic treatment.
Phase 1 treatment does not always mean braces: A palate expander, which makes room for crowded teeth by expanding the area of the child’s palate, can be introduced during Phase 1. Headgear may also be introduced. Children who are thumbsuckers may need early treatment to correct bite problems before these issues affect their permanent teeth.
Phase 2 treatment
While Phase 1 treatment can occur before all of the baby teeth have been shed, Phase 2 takes place in later childhood, during the teenage years, or even adulthood. The second phase typically lasts longer than the first round of orthodontic treatment, but it can be easier to manage if the child has already completed Phase 1.
Which children are good candidates for Phase 1 orthodontic treatment?
During a regular dental check-up, a kid-friendly dentist can monitor the eruption and growth of a child’s teeth. If everything looks normal but the dentist suspects that the child may need braces in the future to fix a cosmetic issue or slight crowding, treatment is not usually recommended at that time. Cosmetic issues and other minor dental issues are usually fixed with braces after the child’s permanent teeth have erupted.
However, if the child is developing a dental problem such as a crossbite, an open bite, a deep overbite, or spacing issues that need to be corrected sooner rather than later, the kid-friendly dentist may recommend Phase 1 orthodontic treatment. The principle behind Phase 1 treatment is to correct small problems developing in a child’s smile before these issues become bigger problems that need to be fixed with more extensive measures.
FAQs about Phase 1 orthodontic treatment
Think your child might need Phase 1 orthodontic treatment? Here are the answers to some of the questions you might have:
1. What is Phase 1 orthodontic treatment?
Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, also known as "interception" treatment, is performed on children who have tooth alignment problems. This treatment aims to prevent further problems from developing and make future orthodontic treatment more effective.
2. When is Phase 1 orthodontic treatment necessary?
A child may benefit from Phase 1 orthodontic treatment if they have any of the following issues:
- Severely misaligned teeth
- Difficulty chewing or speaking correctly due to dental crowding
- An abnormal bite (e.g., an underbite or overbite)
- Breathing difficulties caused by overcrowded teeth
3. How long does Phase 1 orthodontic treatment take?
The length of treatment varies depending on the individual child’s needs. In general, Phase 1 orthodontic treatment takes around six to 18 months to complete.
4. Is Phase 1 orthodontic treatment covered by dental insurance?
Most dental insurance plans will cover at least a portion of Phase 1 orthodontic treatment. However, check with your specific insurance provider to determine coverage levels and any potential out-of-pocket costs.
5. What risks and side effects are associated with orthodontic treatment?
The risks and side effects associated with orthodontic treatment are generally mild and can include discomfort or soreness in the mouth, temporary increase in saliva production, difficulty eating certain foods, and mild tooth enamel wear.
If you are concerned about the risks and side effects associated with Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, it is a good idea to consult with a dentist.
The bottom line
There is no need to worry if a kid-friendly dentist recommends a child for Phase 1 orthodontic treatment. These first braces or appliances can often prevent later dental problems and prepare the child for later orthodontic care as a preteen or teenager. Discuss the steps of the child’s individual case and future needs with the dentist before getting started.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Kid Friendly Dentist in Middletown, NY.
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