Most people associate orthodontic treatments with the straightening of teeth to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing smile. While less known, it is equally valuable for its ability to provide a healthy bite, protect teeth from damage, and maintain proper jaw function.
Orthopedic Factors in Proper Orofacial Development
There is another form of orthodontic care, commonly known as phase 1 treatment, which promotes the proper development of the orofacial structure. Oral health issues are the result of orthopedic factors involving:
- The airway passages
- The jaw’s upper maxilla bone and the lower mandible bone
- The temporomandibular joint
- The skeletal bones in the head and face
An unhealthy oral and maxillofacial development can cause health conditions associated with obstructed airways, undersized jaws, and misalignment affecting the facial profile.
Long-Term Benefits of Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment
By detecting improper development in children, later orthodontic treatments can be completed more quickly, and in some cases, completely avoided. Tooth extractions may also be unnecessary. Addressing the root causes of dental issues also can help prevent relapses in misalignment after orthodontic treatment has completed.
Poor Habits and Health Issues Addressed with Phase 1 Orthodontics
Doctors can detect harmful habits that affect development in the oral cavity even in young children, such as thumb sucking, tongue thrust, or reverse breathing. Mouth breathing-particularly while sleeping- may begin in infancy. Many issues can be addressed with Phase 1 orthodontic care, such as:
- Interrupted sleep
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Speech impediments
Orthodontic Appliances Promote Healthy Development
There are different orthodontic appliances used during phase 1 that develop the jaws and expand the palate if necessary. These may also be used to guide erupting adult teeth into proper alignment, improve the muscle function and shape of a patient’s face, and develop proper arch form in the jaw.
When young patients are sleeping and speaking properly, and their smile is enhanced, parents often see an improvement in their school performance and general behavior.
Dr. Nancy D. Phan for Outstanding Orthodontic Care
Contact Dr. Nancy D. Phan in San Jose to learn more about the benefits of including phase 1 orthodontic treatment. She specializes in all forms of orthodontic care and has a passion for giving people smiles that are healthy, beautiful, and long-lasting. The office of Care Orthodontics, Nancy D. Phan, DDS, MS serves people in San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, and Los Gatos.