Phase One – The Growth Phase
When children are between ages 7 and 11, the orthodontist will often work to adjust the jaw, tooth alignments and dental ridges so that their mouths are ready for braces around age 11 to 13.
The orthodontist may use a dental appliance such as a space maintainer or palatal expander to improve the patient’s bite. The orthodontist may also prescribe retainers and headgear to help move the teeth into their proper positions. On some occasions, braces will be used for a short period of time before the retainer is employed.
After these initial adjustments, patients are given a “resting stage” so that all their permanent teeth can come in before the orthodontist applies braces.