Children Embracing in Circle

Treatment for Children (Phase I Treatment)

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children should have an orthodontic check-up by the age of 7.

At this age, many children may have some upper and lower adult front teeth and 1st molar (6-year molar) erupted in the mouth. In addition, the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) jaw bones will begin considerable amount of growth till post-adolescence. A disharmony of tooth eruption and jaw growth may present a challenge condition for a comprehensive orthodontic treatment at later age. Therefore some problems need to be corrected at an earlier age before all adult teeth erupt.

Dr. Yu-Ching Lai will evaluate the position of erupting teeth and the jaw growth pattern of your child and advise you and your child if the Phase I Treatment is needed.

If you notice the following situations from your children, contact us for a complimentary consultation.

  • Front teeth don't seem to have enough space to fully grow in (Crowding).

  • One or two adult teeth seem not grow in for a while, especially a tooth at the other side already grown in (Asymmetric eruption).

  • One or two teeth erupted out of normal position (Ectopic eruption).

  • Hardly see lower font teeth when biting down (Deep bite).

  • A huge (>4mm) at between upper two center front adult teeth (possible an extra tooth inside the bone).

  • Upper front teeth are obviously sticking out, and/or out side lower lip (Excess overjet).

  • When biting down, upper front teeth are block inside of lower front teeth (Anterior cross bite).

  • When biting down, upper posterior teeth are more near tongue side than lower posterior teeth (Posterior cross bite, Narrow upper jaw).

  • When biting down, upper and lower front teeth can't bite together (Open bite).

  • Thumb sucking and object sucking habits.

  • Involuntarily tongue movement toward front teeth or out of mouth (tongue thrusting).

  • Breath frequently with mouth rather than with nose (Mouth breathing).

What are the benefits of Phase I/Early Orthodontic Treatment?

  • An early intervention corrects the problems early on to prevent worse scenario.

  • An early treatment can be an easy, simple procedure to promote favorable tooth eruption and jaw growth toward teenage

  • Can result in more stable results.

  • Improve facial appearance and self-esteem to patients.

  • Reduce the chance of tooth extraction in the future.

  • Can make future comprehensive treatment less complicated.

What appliance are used in phase I/early treatment?

A variety of appliance can be used during the phase I treatment. Those include palatal expander, space maintainer, habit breakers, headgears, protraction facemask, etc. Some children will have braces or clear aligners to align front adult teeth.

Can young children tolerate braces or appliance in their mouth?

Absolutely! Most young children are enthusiastic about getting braces and adapt well to the appliance in their mouth. 

After the phase I treatment, does my child still need a phase II/comprehensive orthodontic treatment?

Possible. Phase I treatment is to deal with early-detected problems that need correction right away or to ease the complexity of future comprehensive treatment. We follow up our young patients periodically and  re-evaluate if they need phase II treatment when they turn into adolescent age. 

How much does Phase I treatment cost?

It varies from $880 to $3,895 depending on the complexity of problems and treatment goals. It can be a short treatment for about 6 months using a simple device to gain space or break habits. Or it may be a longer treatment for about 12-18 months to correct bite.

Bonus: Partial credits can go towards Phase II treatment fee in the future.