At Annapolis Orthodontics, we believe in being as conservative as possible when determining whether to recommend early treatment or “Phase One.”
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child have their first evaluation by an orthodontist by the age of 7. While most children will not need treatment at such a young age, an early evaluation means we won’t miss a window of opportunity to solve a handful of orthodontic problems that are much more easily treated at a younger age than when your child is older.
When warranted, the goal of early treatment is to help develop the jaws so your child will have the most ideal foundation for their future health, bite and smile. Severe crowding, teeth grinding, a lower jaw that protrudes, a thumb sucking habit or inability to breathe through the nose are a few examples of the types of cases that may benefit from limited early treatment, which usually lasts about 6-12 months.
At your complimentary initial consultation, we will take the age-appropriate records to evaluate if all of your child’s teeth are erupting when and where they should. We will assess jaw development and check for imbalances like an over or underbite as well as evaluate your child’s jaw joints and airway.
This appointment will help you know what to expect for the future and more importantly, it helps us get to know you and your child so you’ll feel completely comfortable with our office before any actual treatment begins.
If your child prefers, we are proud to offer a digital scan instead of an impression (aka “molds”). Our doctors use the latest technology to ensure your child has a comfortable and enjoyable experience at our practice.
The Most Common Outcomes
Your child is not yet ready for treatment. We will continue to monitor their facial and jaw growth to ensure teeth are coming in when and where they should. We will usually see your child every 6 or 12 months depending on your child’s needs. And don’t worry, supervision visits are also complimentary.
Your child needs limited treatment, limited braces or possibly an expander to create space for the adult teeth that will erupt in the future etc. At our practice you can be sure that we will only recommend Phase One Treatment if it will significantly reduce the amount of treatment time in Phase Two or it will significantly increase the long-term stability of your final result. Because most Phase One patients will need a Phase Two of treatment when all the teeth have erupted, if your child needs Phase One, we will keep this phase as efficient, fun and comfortable as possible.
Phase One Treatment