Children's orthodontist

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What is Early Interceptive Orthodontics?

Early interceptive orthodontics, also known as Phase 1 orthodontics, is a treatment that is performed on your child while some baby teeth are still present. The goal of this treatment is to anticipate and eradicate any developing issues, support facial and jaw bone growth, and create ample room for incoming permanent teeth. Early interceptive orthodontics can provide your child with the proactive care they need to lead a lifetime of strong oral health.

The Orthodontics Process for Kids


At the consultation, the orthodontist will determine if early treatment is necessary and beneficial for your child. First, the orthodontist will examine your child’s jaw, dental arches, and teeth to check for early signs of gaps, crowding, and misalignment. They will also address all oral habits like nail biting, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking. Your orthodontist will be sure to share helpful flossing and brushing techniques to ensure good oral hygiene and a successful treatment outcome for your little one.

Impressions and Digital Imaging

Your orthodontist will then take a series of x-rays and impressions to document your child’s facial profile as well as any tooth or bite issues to determine if extractions or removable appliances will be necessary, such as a space maintainer, palatal expander, or limited braces. Each case is unique, so while some children benefit from a device used to maintain or move teeth and jaw positions, others see better results when some baby teeth are removed.

tooth extraction, extraction, removal, tooth, dental, dentist

Appliance Placement or Extraction Treatment

After gathering data and deciding on the best early orthodontic treatment for your child, your orthodontist will securely place either a custom dental appliance into your child’s mouth or administer tooth extractions. Once your child’s dental appliance is securely placed, your orthodontist will check for proper fitting to ensure maximum comfort.

Next Steps

Schedule a follow-up appointment with your child’s orthodontist every 4-8 weeks to monitor progress. Early treatment can be completed in 12-18 months or less, so your child can enjoy a strong, healthy smile for life.


Once your child is ready, the orthodontist may recommend braces or another treatment option. Braces are recommended for children who need to correct spacing or alignment issues.

Learn More About Braces
Open Bite

Palatal Expander

Palatal expanders are metal orthodontic appliances placed on the roof of your child’s mouth to widen the palate over time. These appliances expand narrow palates while aligning the upper teeth and jaw before it fully develops.

Next: Limited Braces
Palatal Expander

Limited Braces

Limited braces are medical-grade stainless steel brackets and archwires that straighten a few of your child’s misaligned teeth over time.

Next: Extractions
Metal Braces


While many Phase 1 orthodontic procedures include a dental appliance, it may be better or necessary to extract a tooth so adult teeth can properly enter. With a variety of sedation options and a gentle hand, a tooth extraction can be a simple procedure that sets your child up for a lifetime of exceptional oral health.

Next: Space Maintainer
Children Tooth Extraction

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