The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaw to each other.
Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early orthodontic appointment.
Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction most often prevents later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, digital 3-D imaging, and photographs.
At the end of first phase treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.