What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?

As parents, we all wish for our children to grow up with healthy, beautiful smiles. But what if we could fix potential dental issues before they become complicated? Enter Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment at Rio Grande Orthodontics. The early approach is aimed at guiding the development of your child’s jaw and teeth. Let’s dive into Phase 1 orthodontic treatment

What is Phase 1 Treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is an interceptive approach. Our goal in Phase 1 is to correct any bite and jaw issues in your child, typically between the ages of 6 and 9. It focuses on guiding the development of their jaw and permanent teeth to stop more complex problems later on.

By using expanders, partial braces, or other appliances to guide growth, we’ll make sure that your child has a foundation to create a great smile early on. 

Why is Phase 1 Treatment So Important?

Phase 1 treatment is key to catching and managing any orthodontic issues in your child’s smile before they become more complex. Early intervention allows us to guide jaw growth, correct harmful oral habits like thumb-sucking, and make sure there’s proper spacing for their permanent teeth.

At Rio Grande Orthodontics, we’ll look at your child for any signs of jaw misalignment or bite problems to reduce the risk of future issues such as overcrowding, impacted teeth, and an asymmetrical jaw.

What Signs Need Phase 1 Treatment?

While the American Association of Orthodontists recommends your child come in for a consultation by age 7, there are a few signs that might be important clues on the status of your child’s smile growth. 

Here are some key indicators to keep an eye out for:

  • Difficulty Chewing or Biting
  • Crowded or Misplaced Teeth
  • Protruding Teeth
  • Biting the Cheek or Roof of the Mouth
  • Early Loss of Baby Teeth
  • Thumb-Sucking After Age Five

All of these are signs of misalignment, spacing, or biting issues. Bringing your child to Rio Grande Orthodontics as soon as you notice these issues can be the difference between a simple fix or a complicated adjustment.


The Phase 1 Process

At Rio Grande Orthodontics, we start your child’s journey with a free consultation to understand their smile and if early intervention is needed. We’ll look into their current jaw growth, the position of their emerging teeth, and any potential issues that could arise.

Let’s look into what the typical process looks like:

Evaluation & Diagnosis 

We’ll take a few X-rays and digital scans of your child’s smile to gain better insight into their jaw and teeth growth. This detailed analysis helps us get an inside look at what their orthodontic future looks like.

Customized Treatment Planning

If Phase 1 treatment is recommended, we’ll work with you and your child to create a personalized plan. This plan will include what appliances we may use, why we chose them, and how to keep them in great shape. Our goal is to put your family through a treatment that’s simple and effective.

Applying The Appliance

Once we fit your child for their respective appliance, your child has begun their treatment phase. The appliance’s goal is to correct any issues, from guiding jaw growth to making sure there’s enough space for the permanent teeth.

Monitoring Progress

Throughout your child’s treatment, they’ll come back to see us for regular check-ups to monitor their progress and make any adjustments needed. We’ll also monitor to decide if any further Phase 2 treatment will be necessary. 


What is Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment?

What Happens After Phase 1

After your child has completed their Phase 1 treatment, the journey towards a healthy smile isn’t over. Phase 1 sets the stage for the next steps in their orthodontic care. Here’s what happens post-Phase 1:

Observation Period

There’s usually a resting period after your child’s Phase 1 treatment. During this rest period, we’ll keep monitoring your child’s smile development for any eruption of permanent teeth and future jaw growth.

Evaluation for Phase 2 Treatment

Once all your child’s permanent teeth have emerged, we’ll evaluate the need for Phase 2 treatment. Phase 2 focuses on aligning their permanent teeth and perfecting their bite.


To keep your child’s Phase 1 work, we may prescribe a retainer for your child. Retainers help to keep their teeth in the new positions and prevent any regression.

Continued Dental Care

Regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene remain crucial. These check-ups ensure the health of their teeth and gums and allow for early detection of potential issues.


Your Child’s Smile Journey Begins Today

The path to a perfect smile starts with early intervention. At Rio Grande Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to ensuring your child’s dental development is on the right track with Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment. Schedule your free consultation today and take the first step towards a bright future for your child. Try visiting any of our locations in Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Santa Fe (Cerrillos), Santa Fe (Harkle), Los Alamos, Edgewood, Espanola, Taos and Socorro.