Sometimes a child will exhibit some red flags that could negatively impact the growth and development of their teeth and jaws and make it more difficult to treat them as a teen or adult. In these instances, two-phase orthodontic treatment is recommended.
What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?
It’s a specialized process that involves aiding with the growth of the jaws and sometimes straightening the teeth. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment plan is we can maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional and esthetic result that will stay stable throughout the patient’s life. We make the process run as smoothly as possible and keep parents informed every step of the way so you can feel confident in your child’s treatment.
First Phase Treatment:
The Foundation for a Lifetime of Beautiful Teeth
The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to fit all of the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. One of the reasons we recommend that children see an orthodontist by age seven is so we can detect early signs of jaw problems, such as an upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough, as well as teeth eruption problems. If your little one is over six-years-old and is found to have this jaw discrepancy, they’re a candidate for early orthodontic treatment.
Because children are growing so rapidly, they can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment that utilizes appliances to direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. This lets us establish a good foundation to make way for those permanent teeth, which will mean easier treatment down the road with the best possible results and may prevent the need for tooth extraction or surgical procedures to align the jaws.
After the first phase of treatment, we give the child a little break and allow the remainder of their permanent teeth to come in. A successful first phase will have created room for these teeth to erupt when they otherwise would have become impacted or severely displaced. We’ll monitor your child during this time and they’ll usually come in to see us every six months.
Second Phase Treatment:
A Healthy, Beautiful Smile
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth is in the right location so it’s in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue and other teeth. When teeth are in the correct position, they function properly and look gorgeous. The second phase usually kicks off when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, but may start sooner depending on the type of bite and the patient’s growth. The second phase typically requires braces or Invisalign followed by retainers to hold your results.
Find out how we can help you smile with confidence by scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Kwong.