What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?

When catering to the requirements of our youngest patients, our practice thoughtfully takes into account their distinct characteristics. An approach we specifically utilize is termed two-phase treatment, and our team at Glass Orthodontics is ready to elaborate on this technique today and address the inquiry: What is phase one orthodontic treatment?

The Bigger Picture

Before exploring the first phase of this treatment, let’s provide an overview of the entire plan. The necessity for two-phase treatment varies depending on the specifics of each patient’s case, with a particular focus on tailoring the approach for children.

  1. Phase One (Early Treatment or Interceptive Phase): Generally taking place between the ages of seven and 10, this phase encompasses children with a combination of baby and permanent teeth. The primary aim at this juncture is to address specific orthodontic issues, including severe crowding, crossbites, or protruding front teeth—challenges that are discussed optimally during the child’s developmental stage.
  2. Phase Two (Comprehensive Treatment): This phase unfolds following the shedding of most or all baby teeth, usually occurring between the ages of eleven and fourteen. Its primary focus is attaining the definitive alignment of permanent teeth and ensuring the proper alignment of both the upper and lower jaws. Comprehensive treatment typically involves using full braces or other orthodontic appliances to refine the positions of teeth and the bite meticulously.
What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?

More On Phase One

Now, let’s explore the typical justifications for initiating phase one treatment in pediatric patients:

  1. Severe Crowding: Early initiation of treatment is often recommended when there is noticeable crowding among the teeth. Early intervention enables the creation of additional space for the proper eruption of permanent teeth.
  2. Crossbites: Crossbites, occurring when the upper and lower teeth do not align correctly, can be corrected by guiding the growth of the jaw, thereby preventing more pronounced misalignments in the future.
  3. Protruding Front Teeth: Children with prominently protruding front teeth can benefit from this treatment, specifically addressing protrusion issues and acting as a preventive measure against potential tooth injuries.
  4. Dental and Skeletal Discrepancies: Phase one treatment is considered an optimal solution when significant variations exist between the sizes of the upper and lower jaws or other skeletal concerns.
  5. Habits and Other Oral Health Concerns: Orthodontic challenges stemming from habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting can be resolved during phase one. Additionally, early intervention aids in managing oral health issues, including difficulties in chewing or speaking.
  6. Space Maintenance: The use of appliances to uphold or create space for permanent teeth is a common element of phase one treatment, especially when there’s a potential risk of impaction or other eruption complications.
  7. Improving Facial Esthetics: Commencing treatment early to address orthodontic issues contributes to a more harmonious development of the face and profile.
  8. Functional Issues: Problems related to chewing, speech, and jaw function can be effectively tackled during this phase of treatment.
What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?


We get that you might have further inquiries about this method, and we are ready to respond to some of the common questions right here.

Q: What is the duration of phase one treatment?

The duration can vary widely based on the child’s individual case and the severity of the issues. Typically, it ranges from several months to a few years.

Q: How frequently are follow-up appointments required during this process?

Regular check-ins with Dr. Glass are crucial for any orthodontic treatment. Throughout this phase, appointments are usually scheduled every few weeks to monitor progress, make necessary adjustments to appliances, and address any immediate or ongoing concerns. Attendance at these appointments is indispensable.

Q: Does phase one treatment eliminate the need for braces later on?

Most likely not. Phase one treatment serves as a foundational step for the eventual alignment achieved with braces. It conditions the child’s teeth and mouth, preparing them for the use of braces in the final stage of treatment.

Q: Will my insurance cover phase one treatment?

Coverage varies among providers and plans. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider and discuss payment options with our office.

Q: Is phase one treatment necessary for every child?

No, it is recommended based on individual needs. While some children may only require comprehensive treatment in their adolescent years, early intervention is crucial in specific cases and preferred in others. Each recommendation is tailored to the unique circumstances of the child.

What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?

Getting a Headstart

Offering this manner of treatment for children is a great advantage, which can set them up for success as teenagers and adults as far as their smiles are concerned. Glass Orthodontics is proud to make a difference in young lives across four amazing offices:  Daphne (251-263-5584), Bay Minette (251-299-9113), Atmore (251-299-9395), and Brewton (251-263-5584). Contact us today for a consultation.