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Phase II and Adolescent Treatment

Phase I Treatment

As children grow and develop, sometimes they show early signs of jaw problems. The aim of Phase One Treatment is to increase a child’s jaw size to make room for the future eruption of permanent teeth and to enhance the relationship of the upper and lower jaws. If you believe your child’s upper or lower jaw is growing too much or not enough, please call our office as orthodontic treatment can correct this problem.

If we correct your child’s improperly growing jaws early enough, we can eliminate the need to remove permanent teeth, which usually fixes overcrowding and/or an overbite. If we leave such conditions untreated until all the permanent teeth have erupted, we are risking a jaw imbalance so severe that an ideal result cannot be achieved with braces alone.

During Phase One Treatment, we strive to:

  • Guide jaw growth in a positive manner
  • Improve the width of the dental arches
  • Decrease the need to extract permanent teeth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Fix harmful oral habits
  • Mend aesthetics
  • Increase the patient’s self-esteem
  • Simplify the treatment needed in the final phase of treatment

Resting Phase/Observation

After Phase One Treatment, your child may need to wear a retainer at night to maintain treatment results and to allow the remaining permanent teeth to erupt properly.

Beginning at about age 10, children lose 12 primary (baby) teeth, and by about age 12 to 13, they gain 16 permanent teeth. During this time, your child will need to keep appointments for observation, and retainer adjustments may be necessary, usually every three to six months.

Phase II Treatment

It’s important to understand that your child’s teeth will not be in their final, ideal positions after the end of Phase One Treatment. This is accomplished in Phase Two.

The purpose of Phase Two Treatment is to arrange all the permanent teeth into positions that will make the most of the teeth’s appearance and function. In each mouth, there is a precise location for each tooth. This perfect alignment of teeth allows the lips, cheeks, jaws and teeth to function in unison together. Our main goal of Phase Two Treatment is to move your child’s teeth into these precise, perfect locations. We can usually accomplish this by placing braces (and sometimes other appliances) on the upper and lower teeth.

Typically Phase Two Treatment requires less use of headgear and rubber bands because of the corrections made during Phase One. Also, the Phase One Treatment results usually prevent us from needing to remove permanent teeth, and they greatly decrease the length of Phase Two Treatment.

With Phase Two Treatment, we strive to:

  • Increase the stability of the final orthodontic treatment result
  • Decrease the chances of impacted permanent teeth
  • Enhance speech development
  • Correct the position of the first molars
  • Steer the permanent teeth into better positions
  • Improve lip competence
  • Reserve or increase the space for incoming teeth
  • Increase patient’s compliance with treatment instructions before the busy adolescent years
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