What is two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment makes a child’s treatment journey easier and more effective. The orthodontist splits the treatment into two phases, the first when children are between age 7 to 10, and the second after all of the permanent teeth have come in, usually between the ages of 11-14.
Why seek early treatment for my child?
Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can reduce the need for more invasive and costly procedures down the road.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7 to identify and get ahead of common orthodontic issues in young kids.
Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teens, the jaw bones stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery.
What are the benefits of having two-phases of treatment?
Who needs two-phase treatment?
Not every child needs two phases of orthodontic treatment. At your child’s early consultation, your orthodontist can evaluate what treatment plan would best meet your child’s needs.
Children’s orthodontic problems can be inherited or caused by a mouth injury, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking. We can successfully treat these issues, which include crowded or ill-spaced, irregular jaw growth, protruding teeth, and bad bites.
Phase 1: Early Treatment
Phase 1 starts when children are between the ages of 7 and 10 and in the mixed dentition (both baby and permanent teeth in the mouth). Orthodontists make a large impact during early treatment:
- Guide jaw growth and correct harmful oral habits that can affect jaw growth
- Lower risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Improve appearance
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Improve the way lips meet
- Improve airway
Phase 2: Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment
Phase 2 begins once all the child's permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of 11-14. The goal of Phase 2 is to shift and level the permanent teeth into their ideal alignment and position. We achieve optimal aesthetics and bite function when the upper and lower teeth meet properly and are in harmony with the lips, cheeks, and tongue.