9179 Mentor Avenue, Unit K   |   Mentor, OH 44060   |   (440) 205-1222   ·   26300 Euclid Avenue, Suite 610   |   Euclid, OH 44132   |   (216) 261-9121

Early Treatment


There are certain teeth and jaw disharmonies that benefit from early treatment. Contemporary orthodontic treatment includes "engineering" bites from an early age, before all of the baby teeth shed. There are several advantages to seeking an orthodontic evaluation between ages of 7 and 9 years of age. The major advantage is that dental or facial growth disharmonies can be identified and early orthodontic intervention initiated to facilitate a better bite when all of the permanent teeth erupt. Early treatment also has the advantage of improving your child's self-image and self-esteem. Straight teeth can make a significant difference in how your child feels about themselves and how they interact with other children.

Dramatic improvements can be made by dividing treatment into two phases. This picture shows how the patient's teeth looked before and after early treatment that began at 8 years of age. A cross-bite, underbite and an asymmetrical bite were all corrected in the first phase making the second phase much more likely to result in an ideal result.

Two phases of orthodontic treatment are indicated to correct:

  • Severe protrusion of the upper or lower front teeth
  • Crowding of the upper or lower front teeth
  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Under-bite
  • Cross-bite
  • Jaws that don’t fit together ideally
  • Correction of tooth or jaw disharmonies created by a finger or thumb habit

Treatment of the above malocclusions typically involves two phases of treatment. Phase I is simply anything that you do prior to full braces. Phase II is full braces. A typical two phase treatment plan consists of a Phase I of approximately 18-20 months and often includes a combination of removable appliances (palatal expander) and braces. The braces are then removed and retainers are placed to hold corrections made and to help guide the permanent teeth into position until the need for full braces can be determined.

Occasionally, the rest of the permanent teeth will come in while your child is in Phase I. If that is the case, the braces will remain in place and your child will go right into full braces.

While there is an additional and separate fee for full braces, the combination of the Phase I fee and the Phase II fee (full braces) is less than the fee for full braces alone had you waited until all of the permanent teeth came into the mouth. The reason for this is that Phase I treatment greatly reduces the amount of correction needed during full braces, and therefore, the fee for full braces can be reduced since the majority of the correction is done in Phase I.

Two phases of orthodontic treatment is the ideal way to correct many tooth and jaw disharmonies that are best corrected during growth periods. Please feel free to ask any questions that you might have about two phase orthodontic treatment.

Thank You,

Terry C. Scotese, D.D.S, M.S.D

Office Hours: M-Th 9am to 5pm       Friday Closed