Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on correcting dental and jaw alignment issues. Under this umbrella field is Phase 1 orthodontics, also known as early interceptive orthodontic treatment, which is a proactive approach to addressing dental irregularities in children at a young age. This phase aims to create a solid foundation for future orthodontic treatment, ensuring healthier teeth, proper jaw development, and a beautiful smile.
At Alexander & Martin Orthodontics, a trusted Orthodontist in Rocklin, Roseville & Sacramento, CA, we typically recommend Phase 1 orthodontics for children aged between 6 and 10, when their jaws and teeth are still developing. During this period, orthodontists can identify and address potential issues before they worsen with age.
Appliances Used in Phase 1 Orthodontics
Space maintainers are among the most common appliances in Phase 1 orthodontics in Sacramento, CA. When a baby tooth is lost before its permanent replacement is ready to erupt, neighboring teeth can drift into the gap, causing crowding issues. Space maintainers prevent this by holding the surrounding teeth in position, ensuring adequate space for permanent teeth to emerge properly.
Palatal expanders are used to address narrow upper jaws. These devices gently widen the palate by applying gentle pressure on the bones over time. Palatal expanders allow permanent teeth to erupt, improving the alignment of both teeth and jaws. They are particularly effective when the bones are more pliable during the growth phase.
Habit appliances are designed to help children break harmful oral habits like thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting. These habits can lead to misaligned teeth and jaws. Habit appliances make it uncomfortable or impossible for the child to engage in these behaviors, encouraging them to stop and facilitating proper dental and jaw development.
The Benefits of Phase 1 Orthodontics
Early Identification of Issues
Specific dental and jaw alignment problems may surface at a young age. These include crowding, excessive spacing, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and habits like thumb-sucking. Phase 1 orthodontics allows orthodontists in Sacramento, CA, to identify these issues and intervene before they become more challenging to correct.
Creating Space for Permanent Teeth
One of the primary objectives of Phase 1 orthodontics in Sacramento, CA, is to create sufficient space for permanent teeth to erupt correctly. By guiding the growth of the jaws and making room for incoming teeth, orthodontists can help prevent overcrowding and ensure that the teeth come in straighter and aligned.
During childhood, the jawbones are still growing and malleable. Phase 1 orthodontics takes advantage of this growth potential to guide the proper development of the jaws. This can address crossbites and overbites by encouraging the jaws to grow in the right direction.
Phase 1 orthodontics lays the foundation for a lifetime of optimal oral health and a beautiful smile. If you have a child between the ages of 6 and 10, visit Alexander & Martin Orthodontics. We are located at 3461 Fair Oaks Blvd #100, Sacramento, CA 95864; 6809 Five Star Blvd, Ste 300, Rocklin, CA 95677; and 4021 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd #100, Roseville, CA 95747. You can also call (916) 630-0306 to explore the benefits of Phase 1 orthodontics and set your child on the path to a healthier, more confident future.