6 FACTS ABOUT TWO-PHASE ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT PARENTS SHOULD KNOW
1. Problems that will eventually need orthodontic attention can become obvious long before a child has all of their permanent teeth. Depending on the type of problem a child has, an AAO orthodontist may recommend two-phase treatment.
It means that treatment is done at two different times, often to take advantage of predictable stages of dental development and physical growth. Two-phase treatment is just one of the orthodontic services we provide to the public in Mt Airy, Maryland. Here are six things parents should know about two-phase orthodontic treatment.
- Two-phase orthodontic treatment is for kids, but it’s not for all kids. Most orthodontic problems can be treated in one phase of comprehensive treatment. However, there are a few exceptions.
2. Two-phase orthodontic treatment can be used to:
- Help the jaws develop to ensure adequate space for all of the permanent teeth, especially the canines.
- May reduce the need to pull permanent teeth in the future.
- Some problems that can be treated quite well in a growing child may require corrective surgery if treatment occurs after growth ends.
- Normalize the relationship of the upper jaw to the lower jaw, especially in the case of an underbite. Intervene in a child’s prolonged sucking or abnormal swallowing.
- Damaging pressure can move teeth in the wrong direction and/or change the shape of the bone that supports teeth. Tuck in upper front teeth that stick out to reduce the risk of those teeth being broken or knocked
3. Moving baby teeth is not done for the sake of their appearance.
- While baby teeth can move during Phase I orthodontic treatment, their movement is part
of the process to ensure sufficient space for permanent teeth.
4. Phase One of a two-phase orthodontic treatment begins when a child still has some baby
- If an appliance is used in Phase One care, it could be a form of braces or another fixed appliance, or could be a removable appliance. The type of appliance used depends on the needs of the individual patient.
Some children may need to have baby teeth removed to clear a path for the permanent teeth to come.
5. A resting period often follows Phase One orthodontic treatment.
6. Phase Two of orthodontic treatment usually begins when most or all permanent teeth are in.
The goal of Phase Two treatment is to make sure teeth are in their proper places for good function, a healthy bite, and a pleasing appearance. Give your child the best chance at a healthy, beautiful smile.
Follow the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)’s recommendation that all children have their first check-up with an AAO orthodontist no later than age 7. If an orthodontic problem is developing, the orthodontist will be able to monitor growth and development so that your child can have the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.
Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment FAQs
What is two-phase orthodontic treatment?
The two-phase orthodontic treatment involves two different orthodontic treatment stages. This approach is commonly used on children with significant orthodontic issues. Phase 1 is called the interceptive treatment and usually occurs between the ages of 6 and 10. Phase 2 is called the comprehensive treatment and usually occurs during the teenage years when most of their permanent teeth have erupted.
Why is two-phase treatment recommended for some children?
The two-phase treatment is for children who suffer from significant orthodontic problems. Early intervention is needed to guide proper growth and development during the first phase of treatment. It addresses specific concerns such as jaw growth, crowding, crossbites, or bad habits. Then phase 2 will focus on achieving the final bite alignment.
How long does each phase of treatment last?
The length of time each phase lasts depends on the specific needs of the child and how complex their orthodontic concerns are. Phase 1 treatment is typically shorter lasting anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Phase 2 treatment lasts anywhere from 12 to 24 months and sometimes longer.
Are all children candidates for two-phase orthodontic treatment?
No, not every child will require two-phase orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will determine if they need it during a consultation. A consult usually takes place by the age of 7. By this time, you should know if your child will need this type of treatment or not. The need for this treatment is determined on an individual basis after a thorough exam.
Will my child need braces during both phases of treatment?
There are different appliances and treatments your orthodontist can use during each phase. The type of appliance your child needs is based on their particular case. Phase 1 treatment may involve using braces, expanders, or headgear. Phase 2 treatment does often involve using braces however your child may be able to use clear aligners as well.
How do I know if my child needs two-phase orthodontic treatment?
During a thorough exam, your orthodontist will evaluate your child’s oral health, dental development, and bite alignment. After this, they will be able to suggest whether or not two-phase treatment is necessary or not.