If you’ve taken your child to the dentist and heard they needed orthodontic treatment in two stages, it’s important to understand why this is the case. Some parents believe that kids and teens do not need orthodontic intervention at young ages; after all, baby teeth are just going to fall out. Dr. Robert Nay thoroughly educates all patients on what they can expect with their treatment plan and how phases of care are important.
The Purpose of Phase I Orthodontics
When children’s baby teeth shed, and permanent teeth begin to move into place, early dental problems can form. After a tooth has been lost, any permanent teeth surrounding the gap in the smile can shift, causing crowding, which requires braces later to correct. Phase I orthodontics are provided to hold space for permanent teeth to move into place.
This part of treatment can also help patients break habits that create dental alignment issues later in life, such as teeth grinding and thumb sucking. Specialized retainers and spacers are provided in phase I to ensure any braces provided in phase II can be used most effectively.
What Happens During Phase II Orthodontics
Once the stage is set for treatment to be as effective as possible, children can be provided with orthodontic appliances to correct many different issues, such as cross-bite, overbite, and under-bite or mild to moderate problems that include overlapped teeth and spaces between teeth. These dental appliances can include bracket and wire braces or even clear dental aligners to create straight smiles and efficient dental function.
Phase II can only be provided after permanent teeth have developed, which is why many pre-teen and teenage patients have full braces. Treatment plans for braces can be as little as six months or over a year, depending on the nature of the alignment concerns.
Learn More about your Child’s Treatment Plan!
If you have questions about what happens during phase I and phase II orthodontics, contact Dr. Robert Nay for more about orthodontics. After an examination, Dr. Nay determines what care is necessary for the first stage and what to expect in stage two when braces are provided.