Does Your Child Need Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted on 05/10/2016 by Dr. Lovrovich
A young boy in need of orthodontic care.

Two-phase treatment is an orthodontic process that will help to straighten your child’s teeth while also improving the physical characteristics of the face.

Many parents don’t understand why they would invest in one treatment for their child only to have to repeat treatment later, but there are several signs that may indicate two-phase treatment is necessary:

  • Losing baby teeth early
  • Thumb sucking after the age of five
  • Problems with chewing and biting
  • Crowded teeth at age 7 or 8
  • A crossbite, where the teeth don’t come together when closing or opening the mouth

Phase One of Treatment

Phase one of orthodontic treatment in a two-phase treatment is called early treatment. This will usually begin at around the age 8 or 9, and the primary goal is to make room in your child’s mouth for permanent teeth.

By taking the steps to make room before the permanent teeth erupt, the treatment could reduce the chances of crooked teeth due to overcrowding, and it can also prevent problems like underbite or cossbite.

While the end of treatment won’t have your child’s teeth in the most desirable position, the final movement of the teeth will be accomplished throughout the second phase of the treatment process.

Phase Two of Treatment

The second stage in two-phase treatment will involve placing the actual braces on the teeth. The purpose is to correct misaligned teeth, bite problems, and to fill in gaps. This phase will start at around 11-12 years of age, and your child will wear braces for 2-3 years depending on his unique needs. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children visit an orthodontist prior to the age of seven. If a significant problem is noticed at this point in time, steps can be taken to make room for the permanent teeth, and in some cases, phase two of the treatment method can even be avoided.

Please contact us if you have any questions about Orthodontic Treatment.

4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 140
Seattle WA 98105-3941

Tel: (206) 525-7000
Fax: (206) 525-0479

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