Though orthodontic care is usually associated with teenagers and, recently, adults, they are not the only age groups that can benefit from treatment! Patients of all ages can experience the benefits of getting braces. For some patients, however, starting sooner might be more advantageous than starting later, which is why the American Association of Orthodontics encourages parents and guardians to bring children to their first orthodontic appointment by age seven. Fortunately, most children do not need to begin care so young, but these early assessments are crucial to determining if your child is one of the ones that do. If your child does need to start care, they will likely be ideal candidates for two-phase treatment. Unfortunately, over the years, Dr. Brady at Brady Orthodontics has met many who don’t know what two-phase treatment is! Because Dr. Brady believes in patient education so you can make the best decisions for you and your family, he wants to tell you all about the benefits of two-phase treatment.
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is a specialized orthodontic method reserved for younger patients. This process assists your child’s natural growth to create a harmonious balance between their facial features and teeth. The two phases allow Dr. Brady to provide preventative and interceptive treatment and aid jaw growth.
The first phase of treatment occurs when your child still has most or all of their baby teeth. It has the three following goals:
- ensure the mouth has plenty of space for the incoming adult teeth,
- improve how the two rows of teeth align when touched together,
- and prepare your child for a smoother braces experience.
This phase utilizes appliances like expanders, partial braces, and retainers to correct problematic jaw and teeth growth. Which appliances your child needs depends on their unique orthodontic situation.
When phase one is complete, your child will have a few years of rest without any orthodontic appliances. During this period, Dr. Brady will monitor your child’s development with periodic appointments.
Dr. Brady will start the second phase when your child has grown most or all of their adult teeth! Phase two is when your child gets their complete set of fixed or removable braces. This phase is crucial to putting the finishing touches on your child’s bite.
How Do I Know If My Child Is A Candidate?
Recognizing if your child needs two-phase treatment can be challenging without professional guidance. However, some signs parents can look for may indicate the need for early orthodontic intervention.
If your child has early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth or difficulty chewing or biting, these could be signs that your child’s bite pattern is not properly developing. Other indicators include mouth breathing, thumb sucking beyond the appropriate ages, or a noticeably misaligned jaw. Speech impediments, protruding teeth, or teeth that don’t come together correctly can also be signs.
However, an orthodontic evaluation is the most reliable way to determine if your child needs two-phase treatment. At Brady Orthodontics, we support the American Association of Orthodontics’ statement that children have their first orthodontic check-up no later than age seven. These timely appointments allow us to identify potential issues early and plan the most effective treatment strategy, which could include two-phase treatment.
How Will Two-Phase Treatment Benefit My Child?
Two-phase treatment plays a significant role in improving overall oral health. By addressing alignment issues early, we can help prevent a range of problems, from uneven wear on the teeth to difficulties with speech and chewing. A well-aligned bite also makes oral hygiene easier, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease, and helps to eliminate habits like prolonged thumb sucking or tongue thrusting that can have undesired effects on your child’s facial and oral growth.
The aesthetic benefits of two-phase treatment are undeniable. By guiding the growth of the jaw, we can enhance facial symmetry and balance, contributing to an attractive smile and profile, which boosts your child’s self-esteem and confidence for many years to come.
Two-phase treatment can also be cost-effective and time efficient for you and your child! While it may seem longer to have two phases instead of one, early intervention can often lead to a more straightforward, shorter Phase Two treatment. This simplicity would mean fewer appointments, less time in braces or aligners, lower overall treatment costs, and reducing the possibility of your child needing more invasive and uncomfortable procedures in the future.
Can Dr. Brady Perform Two-Phase Treatment?
Choosing an orthodontist for your child’s two-phase treatment is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You want someone with expertise, experience, and a genuine commitment to patient care. That’s where Dr. Brady comes in.
With years of specialized training and experience in orthodontics, Dr. Brady is well-versed in the intricacies of two-phase treatment. He understands the unique needs of growing children and adolescents and tailors each treatment plan to the individual, ensuring optimal results. His technical expertise is matched by his commitment to staying current with the latest advancements in orthodontic care.
But it’s not just his professional credentials that set Dr. Brady apart; his approach to patient care is rooted in respect, empathy, and a genuine desire to improve his patients’ lives. He believes that orthodontic treatment is not just about straightening teeth—it’s about raising confidence, improving oral health, and positively impacting the Winnetka and Evanston communities.
How Do We Get Started?
At Brady Orthodontics, we understand that the two-phase treatment process can seem daunting for children and their parents. That’s why Dr. Brady and his team strive to create a welcoming, supportive, and educational environment. We’re here to guide you through every step by answering your questions, addressing your concerns, and celebrating your progress along the way.
To learn more about two-phase treatment and to determine if your child is a candidate, schedule a free consultation with us at one of our two convenient locations in Winnetka and Evanston. We also offer virtual consultations for those extra busy or farther patients.