Orthodontic treatment can be commenced prior to the loss of all baby teeth. This early treatment is also referred to as Phase 1 or interceptive treatment. Early orthodontic treatment is commonly recommended when there is harm from the current bite or where there is significant aesthetic concern. It can also be undertaken to preserve space or to take advantage of certain growth periods.
Common forms of early orthodontic treatment include appliances such as an Expander (for broadening of the upper jaw and correction of cross-bites), a habit guard (to break thumb or finger sucking habits) and growth modification appliances (such as the Twin Block appliance). Early orthodontic treatment can also involve the placement of partial braces to align the teeth.