Orthodontic treatment is available to patients of all ages, but a specialized form of care—called Two-Phase Treatment—is strictly available to children. This is because this form of treatment is designed to utilize the significant bone growth children undergo in order to avoid the need for invasive measures later on in life.
For children with significant orthodontic problems, this early intervention can be lifechanging. It allows the doctor to correct tooth and jaw alignment as well as facial symmetry without needing to remove teeth or recommend the child for surgery. Should this form of treatment be suggested for your child, the recommendation should be followed.
The Phases of Treatment
The name of Two-Phase Treatment is a bit misleading. In truth, it is best broken down into four phases, which we will go over below:
- Phase One: Utilizing the growth of the jaw bone, appliances will be used to guide the jaw and teeth into the best possible position, making room for all permanent teeth to emerge.
- Resting Phase: For one to three years, the child will be without any appliances, save for perhaps a retainer. The child will see the doctor regularly to make sure all is going well.
- Phase Two: Once the majority of permanent teeth are in place, braces are used once again to perfect the bite. Upper and lower braces are used.
- Retention Phase: During this phase, retainers are used to keep the teeth in their corrected location. This requires two years of full-time wear and then nightly wear for life.
If your child has had their seventh birthday, schedule an appointment to find out if they require treatment.