When it comes to orthodontics, you may have come across the terms “early treatment” or “two-phase treatment”. This is often needed for a child who has orthodontic problems but may not have all of their adult teeth. Two-phase treatment means that treatment is done at two separate stages. This is done to help take advantage of the predictable stages of dental development and physical growth of your child. At Windermere Orthodontics we’ve gathered some information from our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists to help parents understand more about two-phase orthodontic treatment.

Two-phase treatment is intended for children, but not all children! Many orthodontic problems can be detected early and treated in one phase of comprehensive treatment. On the other hand, there are exceptions to this case.

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is used to help a child’s jaws develop enough space for all of their adult teeth to grow in. This can help reduce the need to remove adult teeth in the future. It can also help prevent complicated corrective surgeries in the future, as the problem can be corrected during the growth stage.

Two-phase treatment can also help adjust the relationship between the upper jaw to the lower jaw (especially in cases of an underbite). Also, it can also help break habits of prolonged thumb sucking or abnormal swallowing.

It’s important also to note that Phase One can be done when a child still has some of their baby teeth. This can involve a form of braces, or a fixed or removable appliance – depending on the needs of the patient. Following Phase One is a resting period.

Phase Two would generally begin once most of the adult teeth have come in. The goal of this phase is to ensure the teeth have a proper place for good function, a healthy bite and pleasing aesthetic appearance.

At Windermere Orthodontics, we would love to help your child have a healthy and beautiful smile! Remember the AAO recommends a child’s first orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. Let’s get ahead of any problems early! Contact us at our orthodontic offices located in Suwanee and Cumming.

-Dr. Gorlovsky