If you received orthodontic treatment when you were younger, you probably had braces on for several years as a teenager. If your jaw was narrow or there wasn’t enough room in your mouth for new teeth, your orthodontist would correct your bite when you had all of your adult teeth and after your mouth had grown enough to properly fit all of your teeth.
Now, there’s a better way that actually reduces the time that your teeth are in braces after your adult teeth are in place. It’s called two-phase treatment, and it’s become the treatment of choice for children who need some assistance to make sure that crowding doesn’t become an issue.
Benefits of Two-Phase Treatment
Two-phase treatment has become a popular orthodontic treatment for these reasons:
It’s effective. The first phase of this treatment uses an appliance called an expander. It is placed on the roof of the mouth and cemented on the upper molars. It’s slowly expanded, using a device like a key, and increases the space in the upper jaw, allowing new adult teeth to descend. New bone forms around the gap in the upper jaw and the expander is taken off. Braces are then placed on several of the upper front teeth so that the new teeth descend properly and are straight.
It uses a child’s natural growth. After the braces are removed, the child’s growth will bring this treatment to the next step. Over the next few years, a child’s development will continue along at a normal pace. All baby teeth will fall out and adult teeth will grow in. Also, the jaw and mouth will get larger.
It’s fast. Once a child’s jaw is large enough—usually around 13 or 14 for girls and 14 or 15 for boys—it’s time to get braces on his or her teeth again. This time, your child will likely get braces for upper and lower teeth. Since they’ve already undergone previous treatment, they may only have to have braces on for a short period of time during the second phase.
If your family dentist has looked at your child’s teeth and suggested that they see an orthodontist, don’t be alarmed. It’s probably because they think that your child can benefit from two-phase treatment. If your child needs orthodontic care, make an appointment for your child with King Orthodontics at either their downtown Pittsburgh our Wexford office. Call us today!
Dr. Bryan King earned his DMD from The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and holds his Master of Dental Science in Periodontics from The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Bryan has also completed an Orthodontic residency at St Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx, New York. Dr Bryan has received many honors as a practicing orthodontist including, being named a Diplomate of the American Board ofOrthodontics and being named a “Top Dentist” by Pittsburgh Magazine for several years running. He also earned the Lifetime achievement award given by Align Technologies in 2014 for his work with Invisalign.