One Phase or Two?
If your child has bite or jaw problems, two-phase treatment allows that to be addressed in order to reduce dental issues they may later experience.
Dr. Lawless will sometimes recommend two-phase treatment to improve how well the second phase of orthodontic treatment works, and to essentially help make room for permanent teeth. Two-phase orthodontic treatment overall helps to position teeth and the jaw for a more attractive profile. As always, we recommend bringing your child in at the age of approximately seven so that we can determine if early treatment would be necessary.
Phase-One orthodontic treatment is also known as early treatment. Your child will have their first orthodontic exam, and, if deemed necessary, Phase-one treatment will begin shortly thereafter. The primary goal of Phase-One orthodontic treatment is to ensure enough room for permanent teeth, which will reduce the risk of overcrowding, which inevitably leads to crooked teeth. Phase-One treats bite growth and the jaw, including issues such as crossbite or underbite. And it’s important to have the conversation with our orthodontist about Phase-One treatment reducing the need for extractions later.
Phase-Two orthodontic treatment is what most of us are familiar with. Phase-Two occurs when braces are placed on the upper and/or lower teeth. Not only does this phase correct spaces and ameliorate misaligned teeth, but it also corrects overbite or underbite concerns. Phase-Two typically begins around the age of 11 or 12. This phase of orthodontic treatment usually lasts an average of two to three years, but, as always, each case is different, depending on the individual. Some children may need braces for up to four years, while others have fewer issues and may need to wear them only a year or so.
Signs of Needing Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment
Any of the following signs may indicate your child is a good candidate for Two-Phase treatment:
- Losing baby teeth early (before age 5)
- Biting or chewing problems
- Thumb-sucking after age 5
- If the teeth don’t come together properly when opening, or any evidence of crossbite
- If teeth become crowded at age 7 or 8
- Protruding upper or lower teeth
Again, not all children will need Two-Phase orthodontic treatment. Schedule a complimentary consultation with our orthodontist to discuss if your child is showing any of the above signs. We will create an orthodontic treatment plan that will make your smile its very brightest!