Phase 1 orthodontics may be the most important Phase of treatment.

Patients who start Phase 1 treatment as a child are more likely to have a more stable arch as an adult.

When does Phase I start?

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

Timing of treatment

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. See KIDS BRACES for more information.

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 during Phase II.

Consulting your orthodontist about your child’s teeth prior to age 8 will allow Dr. Okubo to create a stable arch that will last a lifetime.

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