With orthodontic treatment, there is generally just one phase where the patient gets x-rays and their chosen orthodontic appliance. However, for children, they have a unique opportunity to get orthodontic treatments done in two phases, which helps reduce the overall treatment needed and lets them start treatment early for maximum results. Here is some more information about getting two-phase treatment.
Disadvantages of Delaying Treatment
First off, it helps to be aware of the disadvantage of delaying early orthodontic treatment. If you do not bring in your child to the orthodontist around age seven or eight, there is the risk that all of their orthodontist issues won’t be resolved. The earlier you see an orthodontist, the more effective and successful treatments can be. It also provides less invasive procedures for fixing the teeth, bite and jaw problems.
Advantages of Two-Phase Treatment
Now for the many advantages of choosing two-phase orthodontic treatment. Two-phase treatment not only improves the teeth and bite, but it can also correct various physical changes, including the structure and appearance of the face. The primary reason to get two-phase treatment is to improve the chances of a healthy, beautiful and flawless smile as the child gets older, as well as having long-lasting treatment that doesn’t require advanced or more invasive orthodontic procedures as a teen or an adult.
In phase one, the orthodontist is working mainly with your child’s jaw development. It typically starts while the jaw is still in its growing period, and helps the upper and lower jaw fit together better. Begin bringing your child into the orthodontist for phase one of treatment around ages 6-7 when the orthodontist can take x-rays and view their jaw growth. Children may also get early help with overcrowding at this point as well.
In-Between the Phases
There is a rest phase in between phase one and phase two of orthodontic treatment. It is during this time, when the orthodontist keeps an eye on the teeth and makes sure there is sufficient room for their remaining permanent teeth to come in. Monitoring the progress is an important aspect to this resting phase.
When it comes to the second phase of orthodontic treatment, the goal is continue with orthodontic treatment and make sure the tooth are in the right location. This phase will utilize braces or other orthodontic treatments like Invisalign, for upper and lower teeth. It helps correct the remaining orthodontic issues, whether that be misalignment or gaps between the teeth, overbites or underbites, crossbites or other problems. By now, overcrowding should be corrected, but braces can further help with this as well. Since some of the orthodontist treatment was done in phase one, phase two usually isn’t a complicated or invasive as if they only went in for phase two.
Getting two phase orthodontic treatment for your child benefits you as well, because it helps you save money by getting procedures started early. Later in life, they won’t have as much need for braces and surgeries.
Dr. Olmsted is committed to providing quality dental care to patients in Oak Ridge, Stokesdale, Colfax, Summerfield, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville. If you would like a consultation, call us at 336-441-8301.