Two-phase treatment maximizes the opportunity to develop your child’s ideal healthy, functional, and esthetic smile that will remain stable throughout life. Early treatment helps your child avoid more invasive treatment later that may not be as effective.
Our goal in Phase One is to guide jaw development so the upper and lower jaws align correctly and the mouth has sufficient space for all the permanent teeth to fit properly.
Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow. Childhood is an ideal time to begin Phase One treatment because children's jawbones are still developing and respond well to interceptive treatment. The AAO advise that children should see an Orthodontist by age 7. Children over the age of 6 with jaw discrepancies are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.
Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life or the need to surgically realign the jaws.
During your child’s initial consultation, Dr. Mike thoroughly examines your child’s teeth and mouth to determine if early treatment is necessary. He keeps comprehensive records that may include X-rays, photos, and models of the teeth to establish a diagnosis and treatment plan.
He’ll then recommend the best appliances to be used, the duration of treatment, and the frequency of office visits.
Well developed airways allow normal breathing through the nose when the mouth is closed. While this may sound trivial, nasal breathing is important because it’s now known to be vital to good health. Airway obstruction has been linked to developmental delays, sleep disorders, behavioral disturbances, and later can lead to hypertension, stroke, heart disease and even premature death. These sound scary but the treatment is easy if we are able to catch it early on!
A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to erupt. During the resting period, permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. We may not recommend a retainer for the existing permanent teeth if it might interfere with the eruption of other teeth. Allowing some freedom of movement prevents existing teeth from becoming impacted or severely displaced.
We’ll monitor your child’s progress with periodic appointments, and Dr. Mike may remove select baby teeth to enhance the eruption process.
During Phase Two, we make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. By the end of phase two, the teeth will function together properly and look spectacular.
Phase Two begins when all permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Mike usually places Invisalign or full upper and lower braces for about 24 months to align the teeth for a beautiful smile and healthy bite. After this happy phase, our patients are fitted with retainers to maintain the teeth in their ideal final position.
Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can reduce the need for more invasive procedures.
If your child is 7 years old, please schedule an appointment. We’ll do an initial exam and discuss the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.