Have you ever heard of two-phase orthodontic treatment? For those who are unfamiliar, it might sound a bit daunting. Why would you want to have two phases of treatment when you could only have one?! That’s a fair question, one that we will explore through the rest of this blog!
Dr. Williams is an expert at caring for the oral health of his patients in the El Dorado and Monroe areas. Many of his pediatric patients have had huge success with two-phase treatment, and so might your child! Read on to learn more about what two-phase treatment is and how it can support your family’s health.
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is a method of treatment for children that starts when they are young to support their growth and development. Since one of the main goals of orthodontics is to align the jaw and bite, it is easier to do while a child’s bones are still growing. If Dr. Williams determines that a child’s jaw needs some work, they will implement phase one to adjust the jaw, and then phase two will come later to align and straighten the teeth!
Ultimately, the goal of two-phase treatment is to:
-Build a foundation of health for the teeth and jaw
-Help align teeth for a straight, beautiful smile
-And position the jaw for improved facial symmetry
Why Might My Child Benefit from Two-Phase Treatment?
One thing that most parents understand about their children is that each one is so unique. Some kids are impacted by genes or their facial structure and will need orthodontic assistance. Other kids might suffer an injury to the face or have habits that impact their jaw growth like thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting.
This is why each child should come to Williams Orthodontics to be evaluated starting around age seven. This is the perfect age for Dr. Williams to notice growth patterns and implement strategies to help their jaw develop in the best way possible. Other kids might not need two-phase treatment at all and can wait to have a one-phase treatment later on.
There are three main reasons why Dr. Williams might recommend a two-phase treatment.
-A preventative intervention is when your child needs to have a jaw growth problem prevented before it starts.
-An interceptive intervention happens if a child already has some jaw complications and they need to have them reversed through treatment.
-Growth modification treatment will focus on boosting normal jaw growth patterns.
Understanding How Each Phase Works
Let’s say that Dr. Williams has decided that your child would benefit from two-phase treatment. Here is a breakdown of each phase and generally what you can expect!
Phase one starts when your child’s first devices are placed on their teeth. Depending on their treatment needs, this might be a small set of braces, retainers, palatal expanders, spacers, rubber bands, or a combination of things. There might be small changes or tweaks to the treatment throughout phase one, so it’s important to stick to your regular appointments so that Dr. Williams can ensure your child is progressing as expected.
Once Dr. Williams is happy with the progress of phase one, he will have all the devices removed and your child will enter the resting period. In many ways, this period is anything but restful since much of it will include huge spurts of growth for your child! They will likely finish losing all their baby teeth and will grow in most of their adult teeth. With regular visits to track their development, when the time is right we will start phase two.
Phase two is what we think of as a more straightforward treatment that is focusing on straightening teeth. Since your child’s jaw should already be aligned with a healthy bite, now we can focus on just finishing the job to create that lasting beautiful grin. This usually means braces, clear braces, or clear aligners!
As long as both you and your child are committed to maintaining great oral health practices, keeping up with the treatment plan, and coming in for your regular appointments, you should be on track to finish treatment as soon as possible! We love the big final reveal when you see the smile that you’ve invested so much time and energy in. And even better than just a pretty grin, with continued care your child’s smile should stay healthy for the rest of their days.
Explore Treatment Options at Williams Orthodontics
Are you ready to help launch your child’s healthy jaw, bite, and smile? There’s no need to put it off when you have a great team available right now! We even start things off with a free consultation appointment at no cost to you! Go ahead and give our Monroe or El Dorado office a call today to get on the schedule! We can’t wait to see you in our office sometime soon.