If you’re anything like us, you will do almost anything to guarantee that your child is in the best possible health and set up for a happy future. With the help of our team at RiverView Orthodontics, it’s easier than ever to make sure that your child’s smile will be healthy and aligned, without fear of jaw problems, bite issues, or crooked and decaying teeth.
One of the ways we can accomplish this is with two-phase treatment. This process works with a child’s growing bones and facial structure to help guarantee alignment and symmetry in the future. This is a great gift to give your growing child, even if it means a few more years of orthodontic treatment when they are younger. But trust us, all the effort will be well worth it when they are teens and already have a beautiful and healthy smile that will last a lifetime!
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Much like how it sounds, two-phase treatment breaks up the treatment process into two different parts. The first part is about getting your child’s growing jaw and mouth into a good position to grow well on its own with fewer alignment challenges. The second part is all about fixing and refining each tooth so that they end up with a perfectly straight smile.
We like to say that not every single child will need a two-phase treatment, but many will benefit from getting this early intervention. The goal of two-phase treatment will be to:
-Build a healthy foundation for your child’s teeth and jaw
-Help align their teeth for a straight, stunning smile in the future
-And get their jaw into the best position for improved facial symmetry
Why Might My Child Benefit from Two-Phase Treatment?
As we said above, not every single child will need two-stage treatment, but there are a few circumstances where it is especially helpful. We have a name for these three intervention strategies, starting with preventative interventions. This is when Dr. Mike Upton notices growth patterns in your child that may turn into issues later, so he creates a treatment plan that prevents them from happening. An interceptive intervention is when your child has already started developing a few problems, so the treatment is about solving those problems. And finally, a growth modification treatment would be all about setting your child up for the best possible success for the alignment of their smile in the future.
In order for Dr. Mike Upton to start with any of these interventions, it means that he will need to start evaluating your child’s smile while they are still young. We typically recommend around seven years old for a child’s first orthodontic appointment since they are usually right in the middle of losing their baby teeth and growing adult teeth. This is the optimal time for treatment to begin!
Understanding How Each Phase Works
Let’s now spend a little time understanding how each phase of treatment works and some general things that you can expect during this time.
Phase one is all about the things we have described above–you bring your child in for early screenings, Dr. Mike Upton notices growth patterns that would benefit from early intervention, and then you get started on a treatment plan together! This typically begins with your child wearing some orthodontic device like braces on a few of their teeth, retainers, spacers, palatal expanders, and more.
With the help of these devices and the continued oversight from our team at RiverView Orthodontics, your child’s teeth and jaw will be adjusted to make space and alignment for future growth. Once the doctor deems it, we will remove all devices save a retainer that they might continue wearing at night time for the next few months or years until they are ready for phase two.
During this time between the two phases, your child’s teeth will be left alone to grow naturally. They should finish losing the rest of their baby teeth, and all of their adult teeth should start growing. You will still be bringing them into our Tuscaloosa or Demopolis offices on a regular basis so that our team can see that their development is on track and deem the right time to start phase two.
The second phase of treatment will usually include a full orthodontic treatment to align your child’s smile. Often this means braces or clear aligners that they will wear for the next year or two to get that smile into perfect alignment. Remember those straight teeth aren’t only about looks, but they can prevent tooth decay and promote a healthy bite too. At the end of all of this effort and stress, you will be thrilled with the outcome and the smile that will last your child for the rest of their life!
Explore Treatment Options at RiverView Orthodontics
The only thing left to do now that you know all about two-phase treatment is to get your child in for an appointment! If your child is seven or older, now is the perfect time to bring them to RiverView Orthodontics for a free consultation appointment. This might be the best choice you ever make for their oral health, so don’t hesitate to bring them in soon! Give us a call to set up your appointment today!