Years ago, it was common to wait to receive any orthodontic treatment until all of the baby teeth were out of the mouth and the adult teeth had grown in. Now, it is common for a child’s teeth and jaw to be evaluated while the baby teeth remain. Intervention at this stage can modify the way teeth grow, which in turn can reduce the length of time that braces may be needed in the future. The jaw is corrected when a child is young, and the permanent teeth grow in straighter when they become older.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that combines teeth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and aesthetic result that will remain throughout a child’s life. Delaying treatment can result in a need for a more invasive treatment later in life. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.
The goal of the first phase of treatment is to help the jaw develop in such a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.
In this period, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may not be recommended if they would interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to grow in. Teeth are monitored every six months, and any problems that may develop are corrected until phase two is ready to begin.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has a precise location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase two usually involves full upper and lower braces.
If you have any questions about two-phase treatment or if you want your child evaluated, please call our office located in Southfield, MI today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!