A problem with tooth or jaw alignment is often best handled early rather than later on. Orthodontics may be necessary for your child, even before all their “grownup” teeth come in. Early orthodontic treatment often occurs in two phases, known simply as phase I and phase II. Phase I treatment is done early between the ages of 6 and 10, before all the child’s permanent teeth come in.

Dr. Lynn, at Lyn Dental Care in Dallas, Texas, assesses the dental health of every patient who comes in, both young and old. If your child is in need of braces or other forms of orthodontia early on, he’ll discuss the options available to help your son or daughter have a healthy smile for life.

When to Consider Early Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment

How do you know when your child needs phase I orthodontic treatment? By age 6 or 7, the jaws have formed enough to tell how they’ll develop as your child grows. Thus, by looking at how their teeth are at that point, you can tell whether early phase orthodontics might be necessary. If between ages 6 to 10 your child has the following issues, schedule a visit your local Dallas dentist, Dr. Lynn, to discuss early phase I treatment:

  • Severe overbite or underbite
  • Crossbite, in which teeth are angled either in or out
  • Premature loss of baby teeth
  • Teeth erupting at odd angles

These are all signs of possible tooth crowding, which may have to do with a narrow, misaligned, or malformed jaw. The purpose of early phase orthodontics is to resolve this by shaping your child’s jaw, allowing it to better accommodate permanent teeth when they come in.

Benefits of Early Phase Orthodontics

If your child needs phase I orthodontics, the benefits they’ll have for years to come will involve the following:

  • Straighter teeth as they come in
  • Better jaw growth and alignment
  • Improved width of dental arches
  • Remove harmful oral habits
  • Greater stability of teeth
  • Improved speech development
  • Lower risk of injury to protruding teeth
  • Reduces or eliminates the need for later orthodontic treatments
  • Prevention of future dental health issues

In most cases, phase I orthodontics takes about a year to complete. After this, if teeth are not perfectly aligned, phase II orthodontics may be necessary. This takes the form of normal braces and can last one to two years.

If you suspect that your child may need early orthodontic treatment, contact Lynn Dental Care as soon as possible. The earlier the treatment, the better the results will be. There are many treatments available, and Dr. Lynn can help you determine which will be best for your son or daughter.