Most people don’t need braces until they are 7 years old or older, but there are cases which make two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary. This kind of orthodontic treatment is done in order to avoid more invasive procedures later on in life, which may not be able to treat issues with your child’s orthodontic health as easily. When is two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary? What is two-phase orthodontic treatment? Here’s what you need to know about this specialized type of treatment and when two-phase orthodontic treatment is necessary.
What Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?
In most cases, orthodontic problems only need one phase of treatment in order to be resolved. However, this isn’t always the case, which makes two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary in order to ensure that the problems are treated properly. It’s generally recommended that your child should see an orthodontist by 7 years old, in order to catch orthodontic problems early on, preventing them from becoming more serious, and making treatment easier, since the teeth are still developing.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment refers to orthodontic treatments done in two stages. It’s meant to combine methods to straighten your teeth with changes to your face, in order to optimize your child’s ability to have healthy, functional, pretty teeth throughout their life. The earlier the better, in order to ensure lasting results, as part of when you’ll find two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary involves being able to take advantage of physical and dental growth with its two separate phases, so that the treatment gives the best results.
When Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
You’ll find two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary when your child has issues that can be best treated at different times. This typically happens when your child has a mix of their baby teeth and their permanent teeth. The first phase would be better done while the child has their baby teeth, while the second phase would be better done after they have their permanent teeth, so as not to interfere with how the permanent teeth erupt from the gums.
Some signs you may find two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary for your child include:
- Protruding upper or lower teeth
- Losing baby teeth early
- Sucking their thumb after reaching 5 years old
- Teeth crowding at 7 or 8 years old
- Biting or chewing problems
- Your child’s teeth show signs of a crossbite or don’t come together properly
You’ll find two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary as an early interceptive treatment in order to mitigate the chances of a current orthodontic problem becoming much more severe as your child grows older. The goal of two-phase orthodontic treatment is to ensure that oral issues, like those listed above, can be treated at an early age, before they get the chance to exacerbate into something much more serious. Two-phase orthodontic treatment makes it so that rather than being left with serious orthodontic problems, your child can step into their teenage years with functional, healthy teeth.
How Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment Works
Part of what makes two-phase orthodontic treatment necessary is when your child has a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, which would make doing treatment in one phase either ineffective or not as effective, which would increase their chances of needing orthodontic treatment again later on in their life. Two-phase orthodontic treatment uses the developmental stages of growth to treat issues early on in your child’s life, preventing them from getting serious.
Phase one is usually done between the ages of 6 and 10, while your child still has baby teeth. The primary goal of this phase is to ensure that there’s enough room in your child’s mouth for their permanent teeth, treating issues with the jaw and the bite growth.
Phase 1 treatments usually include:
- Specialized retainers
- Expansion appliances
- Functional appliances
- Space maintainers
- Limited phase of braces on selected teeth
After the completion of the first phase, your child’s teeth will be left alone to rest while their permanent teeth come in. During the resting period, your child will need to come in for regular check-ins, to observe how their teeth are erupting.
Phase 2 treatments are what most people think of when they think orthodontic treatment, as the purpose of the second phase is to align teeth and correct spacing. They can also help with underbites or overbites. This phase usually involves braces on the upper and lower teeth, along with retainers at the end of treatment, to ensure that the teeth stay in place.
Bailey Orthodontics offer two-phase orthodontic treatment to ensure that your child’s teeth develop their best and to avoid further issues down the line. If you’re uncertain about whether or not two-phase orthodontic treatment is necessary for your child, or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today! We want everyone to have healthy, functional teeth and will advise you on the best options for you.