Phase I or Early Interceptive Treatment usually starts while the child has most of their baby teeth with few of their permanent teeth. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept a moderate or severe orthodontic problems early in order to reduce or eliminate them. These problems include jaw bone problems, cross bites and developing crowding. This phase does not use full braces as braces are never put on baby teeth. Generally we use expanders, removable appliances, herbst appliance (instead of headgear) and retainers during this phase. These treatment approaches takes advantage of the active growth to change the jaw bone structure to either make extra room or address jaw bone discrepancies. This helps reduce the need for extractions or jaw surgery and delivers better long term results and treatment options. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite.
Phase II treatment involves use of full braces to with a goal to finish the occlusion or bite ideally. It usually occurs when all permanent teeth are present. Many a times there is gap of some time between Phase I and start of Phase II treatment. This phase most commonly occurs around the age of 12 or 13 years.