Smiling family photo with 2 young children that will benefit from two phase treatment

Early Orthodontic Treatment: Unlocking the Smile Potential of Your Child

orthodontic treatment at a young age for this little boy holding an appliance


Orthodontic Treatment For The Under 10 Crowd


As a parent, you want the best for your child, including a healthy and beautiful smile. One way to ensure that your child’s smile potential is unlocked is through early orthodontic treatment, also known as phase 1 orthodontic treatment.


At Impact Orthodontics in Calgary, Alberta, we believe in the importance of early evaluation to address any potential orthodontic issues before they become more severe, with a specific focus on monitoring jaw growth and ensuring proper dental development.


In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of early orthodontic treatment, our approach at Impact Orthodontics, financing options, the long-term benefits, and your next steps in ensuring your child’s smile shines bright.


Why Early Orthodontic Evaluation is Key


a young girl that benefited from early correction of her crowding problems with Phase 1 treatment


Recognizing potential orthodontic issues at a young age through an early evaluation is fundamental.


This critical step allows our team at Impact Orthodontics to identify and assess any developing concerns with your child’s dental alignment or bite, including the role of baby teeth in creating a foundation for proper jaw development and ensuring there is enough room for the eruption of permanent teeth.


By bringing your child in for an evaluation around the tender age of 7, a time when their dental structures are malleable and growing, we’re positioned to determine whether immediate intervention might be necessary. Phase 1 treatment focuses on these early stages to prevent issues such as crooked teeth by addressing bite growth, jaw alignment, crossbite, and underbite early on.


This proactive approach not only helps in mitigating more complex orthodontic issues down the line but also significantly streamlines any future treatment plans that might be needed. It’s about laying the groundwork for a healthier oral future, ensuring that any orthodontic journey we embark on is as efficient and effective as possible, with a keen focus on jaw development and the health of baby teeth.


Demystifying Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment


A young girl needing two phase orthodontic treatment due to spacing


Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, often referred to as interceptive orthodontic treatment, is a proactive approach aimed at addressing orthodontic issues in young children before they evolve into more complex concerns.


This early intervention phase usually involves the use of specialized appliances designed to guide the healthy growth and development of the jaw and teeth. By taking action during this pivotal time, we are able to set a strong foundation for your child’s dental health, potentially reducing the need for more extensive treatment in the future.


Our approach at Impact Orthodontics includes specialized orthodontic treatment tailored to the unique needs of each child, focusing on a two-phase approach that addresses malocclusion and aims to create a proper foundation for normal jaw development, eruption of permanent teeth, and correction of misalignments.


Our goal at Impact Orthodontics is to ensure that every young patient receives the individualized care needed to foster a vibrant, well-aligned smile that will last a lifetime. 


Through this early treatment phase, we embrace the opportunity to make significant positive impacts on your child’s oral health and well-being.


Orthodontic Problems Requiring Early Orthodontic Treatment


At the age of 7 (the best age for a first visit to the orthodontist), there are some adult teeth and some baby teeth present in the mouth in most patients.


Jaw growth and the position of your child’s teeth can be assessed to determine if orthodontic treatments are required now, in the teen years or not at all.


The most common reasons to do early interceptive orthodontic treatment are listed below:


Misaligned Teeth


A photo of misaligned teeth with some baby teeth and some permanent teeth


Severe dental crowding in the mixed dentition phase (some adult teeth and some baby teeth) can mean that some of the adult teeth will not be able to grow into the mouth the way they should.


Interceptive orthodontics with braces, expanders, clear aligners, and other appliances can make the jaws bigger and allow for proper alignment.


This can prevent the need for more complex orthodontic treatments in the teenage years like dental extractions and even jaw surgery.


Protruding Teeth


photo of protruding teeth


When the front teeth stick out past the lips, Phase 1 treatment can be initiated to reduce the chances of dental trauma. This usually involves pulling the upper teeth back or moving the lower teeth and jaw forward.


Early correction puts the front teeth in proper positions and protects the permanent teeth from damage.


Posterior Crossbite


photo of a posterior crossbite that is treated in phase 1 orthodontic treatment


When the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw, a crossbite can be present. Left untreated, growing patients can grow asymmetrically, leaving the chin off to one side.


Early orthodontic treatment corrects the width and allows for normal growth and simpler orthodontic treatment in the teen years.


Underbite/Class 3 Bite/ Anterior Crossbite


photo of underbite that when treated can prevent even jaw surgery


When the lower teeth are ahead of the upper teeth, we must intervene early. The upper jaw can be moved forward only in young children and doing this can greatly reduce the chances of jaw surgery being needed later.


Underbite correction is one of the most common orthodontic therapies we do as early interceptive treatment due to the importance of timing for this type of correction.


Who Is A Good Candidate For Early Treatment?


Early treatment is best for children that have severe crowding of the baby teeth or erupted permanent teeth.


It is also good for children with some speech difficulties, finger or thumb habits, bite growth problems, and if they are struggling with the appearance of their teeth.


If you are not sure, come in for a free consultation and the orthodontist can let you know if you need to start treatment or wait for more teeth to grow in.


Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment


The reason early orthodontic treatment is called Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is because it is the first of 2 phases of care.


Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is completed when baby teeth are still present (mixed dentition). It is only done when it will significantly improve the final outcome when all the permanent teeth erupt.


The second phase of two phase treatment is when all of the permanent teeth are erupted and final bite correction can occur. We can not finalize the position of all teeth and the bite until all adult teeth are present in the mouth.

95% of children that have interceptive orthodontics will have a second phase in the teen years.


Our Approach at Impact Orthodontics


A cartoon of the orthodontists at Impact Orthodontics


At Impact Orthodontics, our treatment philosophy centers around a conservative yet proactive strategy. Understanding that each child’s orthodontic journey is unique, we emphasize the importance of an initial evaluation without the immediate push towards treatment.


Our expertise tells us that while most 7-year-olds may not need early intervention, being informed about their developmental orthodontic status empowers us to foresee potential challenges. This foresight allows us to advise you accurately on whether your child might benefit from phase 1 orthodontic treatment or if a watchful waiting approach is more suitable.


When treatment is deemed necessary, we tailor our approach to address specific concerns effectively and efficiently, always with your child’s long-term dental health and happiness in mind. This thoughtful, individualized care reflects our dedication to not just meeting, but 

exceeding the expectations of the families who trust us with their children’s smiles.


Financing and Treatment Options: Making Care Accessible


Photo of a happy multi-generational family ready for phase 1 orthodontic treatment


Navigating the financial aspects of early orthodontic treatment, including specialized approaches like two phase orthodontic treatment, doesn’t have to be a hurdle.


Two phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized orthodontic approach for children that involves two distinct phases: the first phase focuses on addressing specific oral problems at an early age, while the second phase, which starts when all permanent teeth have erupted, concentrates on refining and perfecting the smile.


This strategic, phased approach plays a crucial role in achieving optimal dental health and alignment over time, particularly for addressing Class II malocclusions and other orthodontic issues in the mixed dentition period. At Impact Orthodontics, we are deeply committed to providing your family with flexible financing options that align with your budgetary needs.


We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to benefit from personalized orthodontic care, which is why we collaborate closely with parents to design treatment plans that are both effective and financially feasible, including the option for two phase treatment.


Our dedicated team is here to guide you through the various financing options available, ensuring that the path to your child’s beautiful smile is clear and attainable. By prioritizing accessibility and affordability, we aim to ease the financial aspect of early orthodontic intervention, making it a viable option for every family seeking to invest in their child’s oral health and future well-being.


The Long-Term Benefits of Early Orthodontic Care


Photo of a teen as the permanent teeth erupt


Embarking on early orthodontic care offers a myriad of advantages that echo throughout your child’s lifetime. This initial step towards proactive dental health not only circumvents the progression of more complex orthodontic issues but also plays a crucial role in the development of a harmonious bite and alignment.


By addressing concerns at an early stage, we can often minimize the duration and extent of future treatments, making the orthodontic journey smoother and more comfortable for your child.


Furthermore, the positive impact of early intervention extends beyond dental health; it nurtures self-assurance and positivity by fostering a smile that your child is proud to share with the world. Ensuring your child receives timely orthodontic care lays the foundation for robust oral health, contributes to their overall well-being, and supports the blossoming of their self-esteem.


Through this comprehensive approach, we aim to gift your child not just a radiant smile but a reservoir of confidence that will serve them in every walk of life.


The Most Comfortable Orthodontics In Calgary


the most comfortable orthodontics in Calgary, Alberta for Phase 1


In our commitment to ensuring a comfortable and positive orthodontic experience, Impact Orthodontics has embraced the innovative technology of the dental pain eraser from Synapse.


This cutting-edge tool exemplifies our dedication to minimizing discomfort during treatment, making us a leader in providing the most comfortable orthodontics in Calgary.


The dental pain eraser works by targeting and alleviating the minor aches and sensitivities that can occasionally accompany orthodontic adjustments, allowing for a smoother and more pleasant treatment process.


By incorporating this advanced technology into our practice, we further our mission to deliver not just effective, but also gentle and reassuring care to our young patients.


This approach aligns perfectly with our philosophy of treating each child with compassion and personalized attention, ensuring their orthodontic journey is not just successful, but also as comfortable as possible.


Your Next Steps: From Concern to Confidence


Smiling family photo with 2 young children that will benefit from two phase treatment


Recognizing your child might need orthodontic care can stir a mix of emotions—from worry about their comfort to excitement about the future of their smile.


We understand these feelings deeply and are here to guide you through every step of this journey. Taking the initiative by booking an early orthodontic evaluation at Impact Orthodontics can transform your concern into confidence.


Our compassionate team is ready to assess your child’s unique needs with a gentle touch and present you with a clear, personalized plan of action. This crucial step not only paves the way for a beautiful smile but also lays a foundation for lasting dental health and self-esteem.


Let us partner with you in making informed decisions about your child’s orthodontic care. 

Together, we’ll navigate this path, ensuring your child’s smile blossoms into its fullest potential. 

Reach out to us today, and let’s embark on this transformative journey with assurance and joy.


Frequently Asked Questions About Early Interceptive Treatment


Does Phase 1 orthodontic treatment prevent the need for jaw surgery?


Sometimes it does and sometimes it does not. Phase 1 can change the position of the jaws but some genetic growth patterns are strong and even with excellent early treatment, jaw surgery is needed in the future.


Does Phase 1 treatment help the permanent teeth erupt?


It can! Movement of the bones of the jaws and the teeth in early treatment will create space where the adult teeth need it most.


Does Phase 1 treatment prevent the need for permanent tooth extraction?


It can. In cases of severe crooked teeth, there are times we can make the mouth big enough to keep all teeth. There are times when the crowding is so severe that teeth will need to be removed no matter what we do.


Does Phase 1 treatment prevent tooth decay?


For some children it does. It can be very hard to keep teeth clean when they are out of position. The easier it is to brush and floss, the less likely cavities are to happen.


Does Phase 1 treatment use traditional braces?


Sometimes. We use a variety of appliances for Phase 1 treatment. Braces are just one of the options. We also use clear aligners, expanders, retainers and many others.


How much is the initial consultation?


Initial consultations and new patient appointments are always free at Impact Ortho for anyone under the age of 20.


Does Phase 1 treatment use functional appliances?


It can. Functional appliances change the direction that jaws are growing. If the underlying problem involves the jaws, a functional appliance may be used to help correct it.


Does Phase 1 treatment prevent dental trauma?


When teeth are sticking out past the lips, dental trauma is common. In Phase 1 we can pull those teeth back to protect them from damage.


How often do we have to come in for an orthodontic visit?


Orthodontic treatment means visits as often as monthly for some children. We use digital monitoring at the practice so many of our patients only see us every 2-4 months.


Does Phase 1 treatment create space for crowded teeth?


Yes. This is often the goal of Phase 1. Your child’s treatment is commonly to create space for the permanent teeth to erupt.


Can Phase 1 treatment change bite growth?


Yes. We can use a variety of appliances to change the way the bite is growing. Phase 1 allows us a lot of flexibility because the bone is softer and more flexible than in older kids that are hitting puberty.


Does Phase 1 treatment at an early age work better than when they are older?


Sometimes. There are problems that are best addressed at age 7 or 8 and other problems that are ok to wait until 9 or 10 years old.

Learn more about Orthodontics from some of our other articles!

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