Two phase orthodontic treatment is a popular option has helped many patients and families create a more pleasant, less invasive experience when it comes to Orthodontics. Instead of waiting for a child’s permanent teeth to come in, where the teeth and jaw may have developed in a way that require extensive work or surgery, two phase treatment allow orthodontists to address problems early, before they become a bigger issue. This makes the entire orthodontic process faster, easier and more effective.
What is Two-Phase Treatment
Two phase treatment is fast becoming a popular option for many parents who are concerned about their child’s smile. Rather than wait for the typical teen years that most people associate with braces, two phase treatment allows orthodontists and patients to take advantage of their early growth years, when children’s teeth and jaw are still forming.
By engaging in early orthodontic treatment, this can greatly help a child’s overall orthodontic journey. Two phase treatment has helped many patients who have had serious, orthodontic cases have a much smoother and enjoyable experience because orthodontists and parents worked together to start correcting misalignment or crowding early on, setting up an easier and more effective treatment.
Phase 1: Early Orthodontic Treatment
Phase 1 of two phase treatment begins as early as age 7. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist no later than the age of seven. At this phase, orthodontist are mostly concerned with ensuring that a child’s jaw is developing properly to allow for all permanent teeth to grow in without crowding or misalignment.
When a child comes in for a phase 1 evaluation, the orthodontist, or in this case, Dr. Dan, will be checking for how the jaw is developing. If there are any signs of the jaw developing incorrectly, Dr. Dan can recommend different appliances and treatments that will help correct the development.
By recognizing these problems earlier, it allows orthodontist and parents to tackle orthodontic problems before they become serious. If parents don’t address problems earlier, it can exacerbate issues that may require the need for extractions and surgeries in the future. Phase 1 treatment typically last only 6 months to a year.
For a more detailed understanding of early orthodontic treatment, you can learn more at our dedicated page.
Rest and Monitoring
Once phase 1 is complete, treatment is paused. During this time, we allow for your child’s to naturally erupt and grow in. The early orthodontic treatment will have helped increase the size of the jaw to provide the spacing for all permanent teeth come in.
During this period, it is important to let the permanent teeth grow in naturally. Any interference can obstruct the development of the permanent teeth and cause unforeseen problems. Straightening will be done at phase 2. While on rest, we encourage patients to come back every 6 months to a year to evaluate whether it is a good time to start phase 2.
Phase 2: Orthodontic Treatment
Phase 2 begins when all permanent tooth have grown in. Here is where orthodontic treatment will be used to straighten the teeth so that each tooth fits perfectly together to form a perfect smile.
Typically, phase 2 orthodontic treatment involves traditional metal braces that will help guide teeth to their proper positions. However, there are other orthodontic treatments available, including Invisalign, clear braces, Damon braces, etc. The type of treatment will depend on how much work is needed in addition to the corrections that need to take place.
Phase 2 orthodontic treatment typically take 2 years on average, depending on which orthodontic treatment option a patient undergoes.
How do I know if Two-Phase Treatment is a Good Option for my Child?
Two phase treatment isn’t right for everyone and at Showtime Smiles Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Dan will not recommend everyone to undergo two phase orthodontic treatment. For some patients, their jaw development will require only one phase of treatment, which may be braces or Invisalign once their permanent teeth have come in.
What we’re looking for are for any developmental concerns in the jaw and the growth of teeth that would make orthodontic treatment much more extensive and time consuming. By identifying issues early on, it will help prevent issues that later may need surgery or extraction, which creates a better experience for the orthodontist, patient and family.
At the end of the day, only a certified orthodontist will have the training to understand. Your local pediatric dentist or family dentist can suggest getting an orthodontist’s opinion, however the orthodontist will be the person who can provide an exact diagnosis and treatment.
If you are considering visiting an orthodontist or getting braces, feel free to contact us through call or text!