What is the Advantage of Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment takes into consideration the physical and facial changes of a growing child. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to create a solid, aesthetically-pleasing foundation that will remain stable throughout life. Most often, orthodontic treatment is only one phase, which straightens the teeth, but does not cover the problems of jaw discrepancy. Two-phase orthodontics begin with straightening and stabilizing the jaw.
First Phase Treatment: Creating a Foundation for Beautiful Teeth
The goal of the first phase of the treatment is to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. It’s important to get to jaw problems early because they can cause problems for the permanent teeth that will soon erupt. Fortunately, an upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. After your child reaches age 6, your orthodontist will make orthodontic records, a diagnosis, and establish a treatment plan, which may require braces.
Planning Now Can Save Your Smile Later
The early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizes appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws as your child grows. Early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. This is much easier to do while the child is still growing, because once permanent teeth are in place, it may become too difficult to correct jaw discrepancies with the use of braces.
If the first phase is successful, enough room has been created for the permanent teeth to find an eruption path. During the resting period, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed freedom of movement while final eruption of teeth occurs. Resting is necessary, because any interference may cause displacement or impaction of teeth as they attempt to erupt. Retaining devices may interfere with eruption, and are thus not recommended during this time period.
Second Phase Treatment: Stay Healthy and Look Attractive
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth is in its correct place and functions properly with the other teeth.
Movement & Retention
Once all permanent teeth have erupted, the second phase of treatment begins, and usually requires braces on all teeth for an average of 18 to 24 months. After this, braces are removed and retainers are used to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.