Orthodontic Treatment for Children
Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment for Children
Orthodontic treatment is encouraged in children and teens to prevent and offset the development of more severe dental issues in the future. Most children get orthodontic treatment in their teen years. Some children, however, require early treatment.
The most common orthodontic issue experienced by children that requires early treatment are early signs of jaw problems. Our two-phase orthodontics treatment is a special approach to treating specific child jaw growth problems that works like this:
First Phase Treatment
The goal of 1st phase orthodontic treatment is to develop the jaws to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to properly relate the upper and lower jaws to each other.
During this phase, we use certain appliances to direct the growth relationship of the upper jaw to the lower jaw. This is when we can establish a good foundation and provide adequate room for the eruption of the permanent teeth (which is important to prevent later extractions to correct overcrowding or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws).
We really want to treat any dental conditions as early as possible. Otherwise, it could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.
We will also need your orthodontic records during this phase so we can determine the best appliances to use, the length of the treatment, and to establish a baseline of the shape of the jaws before they are altered.
Permanent teeth can erupt in between the 1st and 2nd phases. You may need to wear a retainer to maintain the result we achieved during the 1st phase until we can see exactly how those remaining teeth come in.
One of our goals during the 1st phase is to create room for the permanent teeth to find a favorable eruption path. This helps avoid impaction or severe displacements of teeth. Remember that at the end of the 1st phase the permanent teeth are not in their final positions. This is because there are usually up to 16 permanent teeth that have yet to erupt that we have no control over. This is why the final positions of the teeth will be determined and accomplished in the 2nd phase of treatment.
Second Phase Treatment
The goal of the 2nd phase is to ensure the teeth function together properly, are healthy, and look attractive. Each tooth has a location within the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth, and at Woodhill Dental Specialties, we strive to achieve the very best results.
Two phase orthodontics involves changing jaw structure and jaw relationship to create a more favorable environment for the eruption of all the remaining permanent teeth. There are many potential advantages to this approach, including the reduction of the overbite or underbite, a more normal jaw development, and the possibility that future treatment may not be needed.
This phase will also require your orthodontic records so we can diagnose your situation and determine the appropriate treatment plan. We generally start the 2nd phase once all the permanent teeth have erupted and it usually requires braces on all the teeth for 12 to 18 months.
If you feel that your child may have potential jaw growth problems, contact us at Woodhill Dental Specialties today to schedule an appointment.