It’s been 20 years since you’ve had braces and you remember spending the beginning or all of your teen years wearing them. Now your dentist is telling you at age seven your child needs to be evaluated by an orthodontist. Then the orthodontist tells you your child needs two-phase treatment and it needs to begin now. That leaves you with some questions.
So what is two-phase treatment?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists’ website, “Two-phase orthodontic treatment consists of two separate times when a child receives orthodontic treatment. A first phase of treatment is done while the child still has many or most of their primary or “baby” teeth. A second phase takes place when the child has most or all of their permanent teeth. Braces may or may not be used during a first phase of treatment (or) other appliances (the name used for braces and other devices for orthodontic correction) may be used.”
Phase One is less about straightening teeth than preventing a problem from happening, correcting a developing problem or modifying jaw growth for optimal bite and teeth positioning.
Phase Two is more about aesthetics. Straightening and aligning teeth so every tooth has an exact location for a beautiful smile, correcting the position of teeth and jaw to work optimally and to provide a pleasing face and profile.
So is two-phase treatment really necessary? Two-phase treatment works in conjunction with a child’s natural growth and development. When phase one is done during the growth phase it can correct problems that may result in surgery if the treatment is delayed.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for everyone. It is important that you make an appointment with Dr. Reagin for an evaluation. At the consultation Dr. Reagin will let you know if is time to begin treatment and he may be able to let you know if he thinks two-phase treatment is in your child’s future.