What is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment acknowledges the fact that your child is still growing and creates a plan around their development. Combining orthodontic straightening methods and your child’s physical facial changes allows kids to grow into healthy, straight smiles that last a lifetime.
Two-phase treatment is your best bet for ensuring the least invasive treatment to fully correct any imperfections in your child’s smile. This is why it’s important to bring your son or daughter to the orthodontist early, usually by their 7th birthday.
At your child’s initial consultation, we will take records such as models, X-rays, and photographs. Then, we will use these to determine a plan of action.
The first part of the treatment helps guide your child’s jaw as it develops. Dr. Slawek and Dr. Lepore will plan a treatment to ensure that all teeth will fit properly in the mouth and that the upper and lower jaws fit together.
Signs that an upper jaw is growing too profusely or is too narrow can be apparent as early as age six. Treating these issues early can prevent the need for tooth extraction or corrective jaw surgery later in life.
This is the off time between phases 1 and 2 where we wait for your child’s permanent teeth to finish growing in. In most cases, it is best to allow the teeth freedom to grow naturally, so retainers or other appliances will not be used. Ideally, the first phase will have created necessary space in your child’s mouth so that the teeth grow in properly. If you forgo phase I, teeth could become impacted or severely misaligned.
Your orthodontist will continue to monitor your child’s smile, typically on a six-month basis. In many cases, your child’s existing baby teeth may have to be extracted to make room for the permanent teeth as they grow in.
This phase begins after all permanent teeth have erupted and usually involves upper and lower braces. The goal of this phase is to fine-tune the exact location of each tooth, ensuring that the cheeks, lips, tongue, and teeth all fit together nicely. After this phase is over, a retainer needs to be worn for life in order to maintain a beautiful smile.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation for Your Child
If your child hasn’t seen an orthodontist yet, feel free to contact us with your questions. If you are interested in scheduling a complimentary consultation in our Lafayette Hill office, give us a call at 610-828-4231 or fill out our online form. Our orthodontists will help decide if your child needs two-phase treatment.