First Phase

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as phase I or interceptive treatment, is for children who have the following characteristics:

  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
  • Protruding teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Mild underbite
  • Mild to moderate open bite
  • Spacing between teeth
  • Teeth that are out of alignment

The goal of early orthodontic treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems. This treatment can also help to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the likelihood of extractions in the future.

When Should A Child See An Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic evaluation at age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

What Is First-Phase Orthodontics?

First-phase orthodontics is a type of orthodontics that begins while a child still has his or her primary, or “baby,” teeth. This phase of orthodontics is known as the “interceptive” phase.

The primary objective of interceptive orthodontics is to prevent more serious problems from developing in the future. By addressing certain orthodontic problems early on, an orthodontist can help a child’s mouth develop in a way that accommodates all of the adult teeth.

For example, if an orthodontist notices that a child has an underbite, the orthodontist might recommend an early intervention to help correct this issue. Early intervention can straighten a child’s teeth before they have a chance to shift into the wrong position.

In some cases, early intervention can help a child avoid the need for oral surgery in the future. Outside of treating orthodontic issues, early intervention can also address any problems that block a child’s airway.

The First-Phase orthodontic appliances include the following:

  • Headgear
  • Functional appliances
  • Limited phase of braces (selected teeth)
  • Specialized retainers
  • Expansion appliances
  • Space maintainers

When Should A Child Have First-Phase Orthodontics?

Phase 1 treatment can begin when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, but no later than age 7. This early treatment can correct significant problems, which may not be detected until permanent teeth begin to erupt. This early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.

Benefits of Early-Phase Orthodontics

There are several benefits of early-phase orthodontics, including:

  • Reduced treatment time
  • Fewer orthodontic appointments
  • Cost savings
  • Less discomfort

To learn more about our orthodontic treatments, call us at (661) 254-6464 or visit our practice located at 23333 Cinema Dr Valencia, CA


23333 Cinema Dr.,
Valencia, CA 91355

Office Hours

MON9:00 am - 1:00 pm

TUE - THU9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI - SUNClosed