At Raleigh Orthodontics, we have worked with patients for years to support their incredible smile transformations. One of the best parts is helping them choose a treatment plan that works for their orthodontic needs and supports their lifestyle. Each person is unique, and this can be especially true for children!
Working with kids to do a two-phase treatment plan is one of the best ways to set children up with a healthy smile for a lifetime. Dr. Grossman at Raleigh Orthodontics wanted to share more about what two-phase treatment is and what options you can choose from during the second phase! We know that you always want to make the best choice for your child, so let us walk you through some of the details!
What is the Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is when a child goes through separate phases of orthodontic treatment, the first one starting at a younger age, typically sometime between six to 10. During the first phase, instead of focusing on alignment or straight teeth, it’s more about adjusting the growing bones and making room for all their adult teeth to grow into their mouth.
The second phase of treatment is about refining the alignment of your child’s teeth. At this point, it has usually been a few years since the initial treatment, and all of their adult teeth have grown in. Dr. Grossman can now use standard treatment methods to ensure that their smile is stunning, straight, and healthy!
Things to Expect with Phase One
Because phase one is mostly about helping optimal bone growth, there are a few specific devices that Dr. Grossman may select for your child. Each person will have a completely unique treatment experience since no set of teeth is exactly alike! Here are a few of the most common components of phase one:
It’s not uncommon for children to wear a small set of braces at some point during phase one. This can help align particularly tricky teeth and make it easier for other teeth to grow. This set of braces may only cover a few teeth and not wrap around their entire bite or be on both upper and lower teeth.
Growth modification devices are tools that Dr. Grossman sometimes uses to adjust the size of a child’s jaw as they are growing. This can be really important to reduce the chance of teeth crowding or growing crooked due to lack of space. These devices include palatal expanders and headgear.
Palatal expanders are a device placed on the roof of your child’s mouth that push against the teeth to create resistance and open up more space in the upper jaw. This is really helpful for people with smaller mouths or a potential overbite. Headgear is used less often, but when they are, they are removable and typically worn only at night. They help to create resistance to pull forward the upper jaw as it grows or prevent the lower jaw from growing too far.
If your child loses a tooth early either due to an accident or tooth decay, it’s essential to keep that gap open until their adult tooth is ready to grow in. Otherwise, other teeth will often try to compensate for that gap and grow into the open space.
If your child struggles with habits like tongue thrusting or thumb sucking, it can sometimes have a negative impact on their teeth as they grow. In these cases, Dr. Grossman can insert a habit device that will discourage your child from repeating these unconscious behaviors and save them from more problems in the future!
Things to Expect with Phase Two
Once phase one is complete, there is usually a resting period of a few years to allow your child’s teeth and jaw to grow naturally. You will come into our office a few times during this period so that Dr. Grossman can track their progress and deem the right time for phase two to begin! Usually fairly straightforward, phase two will include a treatment to fully align all of their adult teeth. Here are the most common options we use in our office:
Braces come in a few different shapes and forms, and the technology has upgraded a lot over the years. This makes them a really desirable choice for many adults and teens who want a super-effective treatment plan. Some people like braces because they are fixed onto your smile, meaning you don’t have to do any work to guarantee that treatment is taking place. They do require a few lifestyle changes to ensure that your teeth are healthy throughout, and that includes a slightly different and thorough hygiene routine as well as adjusting some of the foods you eat to prevent damage or tooth decay.
Clear Aligners, often called Invisalign, are a really effective way to get your child’s smile to the next level! Over the course of months or years, they will progressively switch out a series of clear retainers that will shift their teeth into a perfectly straight smile. Many people love these because of how discreet and convenient they are, but remember that it will be your child’s responsibility to continually wear their retainers and keep them clean, so factor in that responsibility when you decide!
Let Raleigh Orthodontics Help You Craft Your Child’s Perfect Smile!
If your child is about the age of seven or older, now is a great time to schedule a free consultation visit with Dr. Grossman! With four convenient office locations in Raleigh, Louisburg, Creedmore, and Wakefield, we are sure to be able to find a time and location that works for your schedule! Let us help you jumpstart your child’s future smile today!