Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment Candidates
Millions of children undergo orthodontic treatment every year. Many of them have braces placed around the age of 11 or 12 and achieve their desired results in just a couple of years. In some cases, a two-phase approach is beneficial, particularly if there are certain skeletal issues present. Two-phase orthodontics involves beginning the first stage of treatment around the age of seven, and then starting the second stage around age 11.
How can you know if your child requires this type of approach? At Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics, serving Philadelphia, PA, Bala Cynwyd, PA, and Bensalem, PA, we discuss who may be a good candidate for two-phase orthodontic treatment and explain what to expect during the process.
What Is Two-Phase Orthodontics?
While many children start orthodontic treatment during adolescence, some can benefit from early treatment, beginning around age seven. During the first phase, your orthodontist can detect and treat complex skeletal issues that could interfere with proper function, health, and appearance later on. The first phase usually takes about one to two years to complete.
Once phase one is finished, there is often a resting period. Then, phase two begins around the age of 11 or 12.
When Is Two-Phase Orthodontics Recommended?
An orthodontic consultation at our practice is the best way to determine if your child needs two-phase treatment. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should have his or her first orthodontic exam around age seven. During this visit, your doctor can talk with you about treatment options and determine if a two-phase approach is necessary.
There are, however, certain signs and symptoms that could indicate early treatment should be considered. For example, candidates often exhibit:
- Early primary tooth loss, before age five
- Biting or chewing issues
- Overlapping or crowding
- Prolonged bottle or pacifier use
- Protruding teeth that jut out
- Severe crossbites
What to Expect during Treatment
Every individual is unique, with his or her own set of needs. Therefore, treatment is tailored accordingly. However, here are a few general steps to expect if your child requires two-phase orthodontic treatment.
The primary goal of early orthodontic treatment is to create sufficient room for permanent teeth to erupt. Phase I focuses on jaw growth and development. Because the orofacial bones are still developing at this early age, correcting complex issues during this time period is much easier and more predictable. In fact, early treatment can even eliminate the need for corrective jaw surgery later on.
Phase I treatment utilizes a wide range of fixed and removable appliances. These may include traditional braces, palatal expanders, headgear, space maintainers, retainers, and more.
The second phase of treatment begins when most of your child’s permanent teeth have grown in. Typically, Phase II involves wearing traditional braces to shift the teeth. In some instances, Invisalign may also be an option. While Phase I lays the foundation by preparing the jawbone, Phase II shifts the teeth into their proper locations over time, promoting harmony between all elements. The second stage of treatment can usually be completed in about 12 to 24 months.
Contact Us for More Information
Early orthodontic intervention can make a dramatic difference in your child’s oral health. To learn more about two-phase orthodontic treatment, or to schedule an appointment at our practice, contact us online or call our office at (215) 883-0611.