If you ever feel overwhelmed with your child’s emotional, physical, and mental needs as they grow, just know that you are not alone! Dr. Lewis at KBL Orthodontics has kids of her own and she knows what it’s like to keep up with all their needs. That’s why we consider ourselves your partner, helping you take care of your child’s oral health.
When it comes to caring for a child’s teeth as they grow, starting earlier is often better. Some children greatly benefit from having a two-phase treatment that starts before they have even finished growing their adult teeth, and will continue again later once they are pre-teens or teens. These phases are really helpful for setting them up for success later on, so let’s learn more about it.
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is when a child receives orthodontic treatment in two different stages of their development. The first treatment will start early, as their bones are still growing and developing, and the second stage can wait a few more years. The point of this two-phase process is to catch jaw and bite development issues when it is easier to fix them and take care of those early. That way they are ready to adjust to a normal treatment program already set up for success!
A few of the goals of two-phase treatment are 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?
It’s important to understand that not every child will need two-phase treatment. But it is a good idea to bring each of your children into our office starting around age seven in order to evaluate a few key factors.
Dr. Lewis will be looking to see if your child needs a preventative intervention, which means stopping the progress of a problem before it can even start. Sometimes they might need an interceptive intervention, which means slowing down and reversing a problem after it’s already started. And sometimes a growth modification is needed to essentially help a child’s mouth to develop in a certain way for optimal alignment later on.
Again, coming in at a young age is key to being able to implement any of these plans. Since children are still growing at such a rapid rate at that age, it’s much easier to help shift their teeth and jaw while their bones are growing and developing.
Understanding How Each Phase Works
Let’s take just a minute to do an overview of how each phase typically works for most families.
Phase one includes the assessment that we’ve described above where Dr. Lewis will determine what kind of intervention your child might need and which treatment will be most effective for them. This might be braces, retainers, headgear, spacers, palatal expanders, or other devices that will shift and correct their jaw alignment.
Phase one may last for a year or two, but the timeline is generally unique to each child’s needs. Once their teeth and bones are set up according to Dr. Lewis’ expectations, they will be removed and you will enter the resting period.
The resting period is a nice break after going through phase one, where your kid gets to enjoy life without any devices or intervention. This simply allows their teeth and bones to continue growing, and they will typically lose the rest of their baby teeth and grow their adult teeth at this point. You will likely be coming into our office for semi-regularly appointments for Dr. Lewis to just check in on their progress and see when they are ready to begin phase two.
Once Dr. Lewis gives the okay, it’s time to start phase two. This phase is all about finalizing and polishing off their treatment, creating beautifully straight teeth with a healthy, aligned jaw. It is usually less complicated with fewer devices and interventions, though you will need to choose a treatment plan that works for you and your child’s needs. Braces, clear braces, and Invisalign retainers are some of the most common treatments we use at our office, and we’ll be sure to sit down and walk you through the pros and cons of each one!
During this time it’s really important to follow through on all of your commitments to your child’s treatment. Helping them keep up with their daily hygiene routine is essential so that they don’t end their treatment with stained or decayed teeth. Coming to all the regular appointments, and wearing special devices are also necessary to keep them on track and ensure that they don’t stay in treatment any longer than necessary.
It sounds like a lot, we understand. But our team at KBL Orthodontics will be with you for every step and is only a phone call away if you have questions or need support. It will feel like a huge accomplishment for both you and your child when you finally unveil that beautiful, straight smile at the end of all this treatment!
Explore Treatment Options at KBL Orthodontics
Don’t put off getting your child orthodontic treatment any longer! It’s time to give our office a call today to set up a free consultation appointment at no cost to you. This is the best way to know if your child needs two-phase treatment and when to get started. We hope to see you in our Dothan office very soon!