What is ‘Phase I’ Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted in Articles, Orthodontic Treatment Options

What is ‘Phase I’ Orthodontic Treatment?

When children are still young and their teeth, jaws, and mouths are still growing and developing, there is an opportunity for an orthodontist to identify issues that may become more serious problems later on, and begin to treat them straight away. This type of treatment is called Phase I (or early interventive) treatment.


The general consensus among orthodontists is that children should be have their first orthodontic evaluation by no later than the age of 7.

By this time, all the baby teeth have come in, and indeed, some of them are already beginning to fall out, and are being replaced by adult teeth. This makes it possible for the orthodontist to identify and treat any developing problems.

What kinds of problems?

There are a variety of problems that orthodontists can identify early on, and circumvent. For example, a child’s growing permanent teeth may be coming in crowded, impacted, or crooked.

Other problems include early or late loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, improper jaw alignment, and cross bites, all of which can become more serious problems as your child gets older, but can be treated early by an orthodontist.

What does Phase I Treatment Involve?

Depending on the type of problem the child is experiencing, the details of early interceptive treatment will vary. Treatment often includes things like palatal expanders, partial braces, temporary anchorage devices, or head gear.

Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting problems may be treated with various temporary or permanent habit breaking appliances, as well as habit breaking therapy.

Phase I treatment is typically done in preparation for phase II treatment (full braces) later on, so your child may still need braces when his or her phase I treatment is complete.

However, phase one treatment can limit the severity of a given problem, or eliminate it completely, meaning that later orthodontic treatment may not take as long, or and will have better results.

If you have have a child who is due for an orthodontic evaluation, contact Guildford Orthodontics today!

Book your No Obligation Smile Consultation today with Surrey's trusted Orthodontic team!