Phase 1 Treatment

Is it time to see an orthodontist? At Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics, the goal of our Grand Rapids orthodontists is to meet your child’s needs and your desires while also achieving the highest quality results. Whenever possible, we prefer to treat our patients in one succinct phase of treatment.

Here’s what you need to know about Phase 1 orthodontic treatment and whether it’s something your child may require.

When Should My Child Start Orthodontic Treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. Early orthodontic intervention may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter, less complicated, or even unnecessary.

While your child’s baby teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only our orthodontists can detect. In some cases, an issue exists that may benefit significantly from early treatment. We can diagnose subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while most or all baby teeth are still present.

In some cases, our team of orthodontists can achieve results that otherwise would not be possible once the face and jaws are done growing.

On the other hand, a check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is on the right track or there is a developing problem but it’s one that doesn’t require immediate treatment. Whatever your child’s situation, it is always best to see us before problems emerge.

Phase 1 Treatment Allows Our Orthodontists to:

Guide Jaw Growth

Children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment. Our treatment directs the growth and relationship of the upper and lower jaws and develops healthy nasal airways. Leaving such conditions untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with metal braces alone.

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Guide Permanent Teeth Positioning

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. The presence of the permanent incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles.

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Correct Harmful Habits

Babies instinctively know that their inherent sucking reflex guarantees them two things: food and comfort. Preventing your baby from sucking on either a thumb or pacifier can deprive them of a way to calm themselves.

However, once they become toddlers, it’s recommended that they start to move past the sucking instinct they were born with. Prolonged pacifier or thumb sucking can affect the shape of your child’s mouth and how their adult teeth line up.

This does depend on how often, how intensely, and how long the habit occurs. If you can stop them by the time their upper adult teeth show up, the bite may correct itself. Regardless, early treatment can help control and/or eliminate problems with thumb-sucking and possible speech or swallowing problems.

Orthodontist In Grand Rapids

Schedule an Orthodontic Evaluation

Our orthodontists in Grand Rapids and Grandville, MI, think there are a number of ways we set ourselves apart and we'd love to show you. Contact us online or call Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics today at (616) 455-4800 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

This blog post has been updated.