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When your child turns 7 or 8, you can help ensure a lifetime of oral health by bringing them to their first orthodontic exam with our children’s orthodontist near Burbank, CA. The purpose of this initial exam is to identify if your child would benefit from Two-Phase Treatment. Most children and parents leave their exam happy to know that treatment can wait or may not be necessary at all! For other children, however, catching potential issues early can make a huge difference in their future treatment needs.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical facial changes. The main advantage of two-phase treatment is that it uses your child’s natural growth patterns to guide their tooth and jaw development. By doing this, preventative treatment can eliminate the need for future extractions and possibly the need for braces.
The goal of first-phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to guide the position of upper and lower jaws to each other. Children can exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. After age 6, if your child has a jaw discrepancy, they are potential candidates for early orthodontic treatment.
Because children develop rapidly, they can benefit immensly from early orthodontic treatment. Phase One treatment uses appliances that direct the growth of your child’s upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth.
Early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could even result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.
Following phase one, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while final eruption of teeth occurs, so retainser are not typically worn. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path to avoid becoming impacted or severely displaced. Selective removal of certain primary teeth could be necessary in order to enhance eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic office visits for observation are recommended, usually on a six-month basis.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has a precise location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a treatment plan for your child was established. Certain types of appliances were used based on their specific needs. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.
To learn more about two-phase treatment and to find out if it would benefit your child, schedule a free, no-obligation exam and consultation with our experienced orthodontist. During your appointment, Dr. Bergh will perform a thorough analysis of your child’s smile, explain any potential treatment recommendation, and answer all your questions. To request your child’s free Bergh Orthodontics Smile Analysis, call 818.273.6225 or click here today.