Wonder West Orthodontics provides professional two-phase orthodontic treatments to patients in London, Ontario who may require specialized stages of orthodontic treatments.
What is Two-phase Orthodontic Treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that takes advantage of a child’s growth in an effort to resolve physical, and facial deficiencies as well as improve the alignment of teeth. A growing child’s jaw is flexible which makes it possible to correct problems in the early stages of orthodontic treatment without having to resort to jaw surgery.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit with the orthodontist by the time they are seven years old at the latest. By that age, their permanent teeth have started to emerge, and the orthodontist will be able to spot developing problems like crowding. Some of these conditions are due to jaw problems such as an abnormally narrow palate.
Signs Your Child May Need Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment
There are some signs that parents can look out for when it comes to monitoring their child’s teeth to help determine if they require orthodontic treatment. If your child shows these signs, they may be a good candidate for two-phase treatment:
- Problems with biting or chewing
- Sucking their thumb after the age of five
- Teeth are protruding on the top and bottom
- Teeth are crowded or crooked at age seven or eight
- Losing baby teeth before age five
- Issues with breathing comfortably
- Their incoming adult teeth are being obstructed by their baby teeth
What if Treatment Plans are Put Off?
Putting off two-phase treatment only means that the child will need to undergo a more invasive procedure like surgery when they are older. They may also need to have some teeth extracted. Early orthodontic treatment and intervention are the most effective for achieving lasting results and creating a beautiful smile.
Phase One of Orthodontic Treatment
During the first phase of orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist will work to make certain the jaws can accommodate all of the permanent teeth and will fit together properly. Orthodontic treatment can be used on a child as young as six to correct jaws that are too narrow or misaligned. Correcting crowded teeth in an eight-year-old could potentially prevent the extraction of permanent teeth several years later.
The orthodontist can also correct various bite issues like underbites or crossbites during Phase One.
During the child’s first visit, the orthodontist will perform an orthodontic exam to evaluate overall oral health and take comprehensive records to keep track of the diagnoses, appointments, and appliances used. The records may include X-rays, photographs, and models of the child’s teeth.
The resting period is the period between the two phases. The orthodontic team will monitor the child’s teeth as most of their remaining permanent teeth continue to emerge. The third molars or wisdom teeth typically do not emerge until a patient is in their late teens or early twenties – well after the end of the two-phase treatment.
The orthodontist will typically examine the child every six to nine months during the resting period to monitor the teeth’s progress.
Phase Two of Orthodontic Treatment
During Phase Two, the orthodontic team will straighten any crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. Phase Two thus involves braces of some type.
Phase Two begins when most of the permanent teeth, except the wisdom teeth, have erupted. It can thus start when the child is as young as eleven. The child will usually have to wear braces for roughly two years and then wear a retainer to keep their teeth in their proper position.
Orthodontic Treatment Plans in London Ontario
Children benefit from early orthodontic treatment as it can help prevent the need for more invasive surgeries in the future and the removal of permanent adult teeth. Taking action now and making an appointment with an orthodontist can save your child’s smile later. For more information about two-phase orthodontic treatment or to schedule a consultation, contact the team at Wonder West Orthodontics.