Why Does My Child Need Two Phases of Braces?

Why Does My Child Need Two Phases of Braces?
Posted on 05/23/2018

Why Does My Child Need Two Phases of BracesAt Loeb Orthodontics, we are proud to provide high-quality orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages throughout the greater Oakland, NJ area. While we regularly treat adults with braces and Invisalign, the majority of our patients are children and teens. Sometimes the best way to achieve a great smile is to begin orthodontic treatment earlier than you might expect. Called “two-phase treatment”, this type of treatment generally begins at some point between the ages of 7 and 9, with a resting period before treatment is resumed during adolescence. Not all children need two phases of orthodontic treatment, but for those who do, it can drastically improve the results of treatment, and make the treatment more efficient.

Phase One: Early Orthodontic Treatment

If we decide your child needs two-phase treatment, the first phase occurs in childhood. Also called early orthodontic treatment, this involves treating your child with braces or an orthodontic appliance sometime before adolescence, usually around age 8 or 9. Normally, this phase of treatment focuses on making changes that more efficient when much of the child’s growth remains, or when a number of permanent teeth have yet to erupt. We will often work to influence jaw growth to create a healthier bite. For example, we may use a device called a palatal expander to gradually, painlessly widen the upper jaw and create more room for the teeth. After finishing the first phase of treatment, your child will usually have a period without active orthodontic treatment. After this resting phase ends, we will begin the second phase of treatment.

Phase Two: Adolescent Orthodontic Treatment

Once your child enters or nears adolescence, we'll begin the phase two of treatment. This usually begins around age 11-13. During adolescent orthodontic treatment, will pick up where phase I ended to continue perfecting the teeth and the bite. Phase two is focused more on correcting the alignment of the teeth and achieving a straighter, healthier smile. A good way to think of two-phase treatment is that phase one lays the foundation for a healthy smile, while phase two perfects that smile and adds the finishing touches.

Does My Child Need Two-Phase Treatment?

Not every child needs two phases of orthodontic treatment, but it can dramatically improve the results of treatment when necessary. Here are a few signs that your child may need two-phase orthodontic treatment:

  • A habit of thumb-sucking that persists past age 4
  • Any problems your child has with biting, chewing, or speaking
  • Teeth that don't come together fully when the mouth is closed
  • Protruding upper or lower front teeth
  • Signs of crooked, crowded teeth earlier than age 9

Schedule a Consultation with Your Oakland Orthodontist

At Loeb Orthodontics, we are proud to have helped countless children throughout Oakland, NJ achieve healthy smiles with two-phase treatment. If you feel your child may need two-phase treatment, we would be happy to help. Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page with any questions about early orthodontic treatment or to schedule a consultation at our office. We look forward to hearing from you, and we are excited to help your child develop a beautiful, healthy smile.