Braces For Kids /
Phase 1 Orthodontics

From a trusted child orthodontist in Utah & Nevada

When to start Braces for Children?

Early growth years are the best time to correct arch discrepancies. Functional appliances are unnoticeable, save treatment time and expense if braces are required when the adult teeth erupt.

Dr. Okubo Recommends getting a complimentary 'happy smile exam' when your child is 7 years old.

Why Early Detection is Important for Kids Braces

Early detection of orthodontic issues can provide an opportunity to place functional “growth appliances” which guide and optimize arch development. This will result in adult teeth that occlude in a stable bite relationship.

What are Phase 1 Braces?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment begins when a permanent premolar or canine starts to erupt. This transition usually begins at eight years of age. The objective of Phase 1 braces is to direct and optimize jaw growth to accommodate the permanent teeth and to coordinate the growth of the upper and lower arches. Phase 1 treatment of a growing child greatly reduces the chance of relapse in the adult.

Timing your child's Phase 1 Braces

The timing of treatment is important to achieve optimal results. Phase I treatment is most effective in a growing child. There are two signs to look for when deciding if your child is ready to start phase I treatment. When your child starts quickly growing out of clothes (Ages 7-9 in girls and 9-10 in boys) and when baby molars are lost followed by the eruption of premolars.

Avoid unnecessary surgeries.

Growth-related problems can often be corrected without full orthodontic “braces”. Directing growth reduces the need to extract teeth and helps prevent a need for surgery to align the jaws. First phase orthodontics at this age, without using “full braces”, dramatically improves cooperation and results of Phase 2 or Teen Braces.

Important Considerations for Child Orthodontics


Relationship between upper and lower arches: both size and occlusion position (over or under bite, open or deep bite);


Eruption sequence of teeth and size of teeth in relationship to arch size, genetically missing or extra teeth;


Teeth which are blocked out of the arch and may need intervention to erupt normally;


Thumb, finger or swallowing/breathing habits which may impede normal growth patterns;


This is a great time for patient education on important stages to follow; Phase II Treatment, or Braces for Teens.

Types of Kids Braces

Indirect Bonding Braces

Indirect bonding is the most frequently used orthodontic option, as the results are reliable, and the process is usually relatively cost-effective.

Read more about Indirect Bonding Braces

Clarity Ceramic Braces

Clarity Advanced Ceramic Brackets are translucent ceramic, low profile brackets that and blend with your teeth. They are very subtle and discreet.

Read more about Clear Ceramic Braces

Harmony Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are truly hidden, in that they are positioned behind your teeth, straightening your smile and correcting your bite while virtually invisible!

Read more about Harmony Lingual braces

Clear Teeth Aligners

Clear Removable Aligners system uses a series of clear aligners that fit over the teeth and gradually straighten them. No braces or wires are used.

Read more about Clear Teeth Aligners