Why 2 Phases of treatment are sometimes necessary

Why 2 Phases of treatment are sometimes necessary

Problems that will eventually need orthodontic attention are oftentimes evident and 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 a two-phase treatment plan. This means that treatment is done at two different times, often to take advantage of the stages of dental development and physical growth.

6 facts about 2-Phase treatments all parents should understand

Here are six things parents should understand about two-phase orthodontic treatment plans.

  1. Two-phase orthodontic treatment is for children, but not for every child.

Most orthodontic problems can be treated in one phase of comprehensive treatment.  However, there are a few exceptions.  It is important to seek the advice from an AAO Orthodontist because every person is different, requiring individualized treatment plans.

  1.  Two-phase orthodontic treatment can be used to:

Help the jaws develop to ensure adequate space for all of the permanent teeth especially the permanent canines.

  • In most cases, by helping the jaw grow during the natural growth of the child, the need to pull permanent teeth in the future significantly decreases.
  • 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 directions and/or change the shape of the bone that support teeth; early two-phase treatment can help resolve bad habits.
  • Tuck in upper front teeth that stick out to reduce risk of those teeth being broken or knocked out.
  1.  Moving baby teeth is not done for the sake of appearance.

While baby teeth can move during Phase One 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 teeth.

 If an appliance is used in Phase One treatment, it could be a form of braces or another fixed appliance, or it could even be a removable appliance. The type of appliance used depends on the needs of the individual patient. 

5. A resting period follows Phase one Orthodontic Treatment

6. Phase two of orthodontic treatment usually begins when most or all of the 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.  The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends 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.  Call Hough Orthodontics now for your child’s complimentary Smile Assessment at 636.391.1959.