What is Two-Phase orthodontic treatment and what are the benefits?

Two-Phase treatment is a common treatment, especially for children. It combines early treatment, such as an expander (Phase I), while the child goes through physical growth and facial changes with braces (Phase II) to straighten teeth when the child gets older. With this type of early treatment, you can achieve lasting results and a beautiful smile, while reducing the time needed for more invasive treatments at some point in the future.

Can my child wait for treatment?

Yes, but that often means that they will need more invasive treatment as they get older, such as having permanent teeth extracted or a surgical procedure to realign the jaws.

How does Two-phase treatment work?

Phase I

The first step, or Phase I, can help develop your jaw so that your mouth will be able to accommodate all of your permanent teeth. It also improves how your upper and lower jaws fit together, and properly shapes your bite. Many times, you’ll find that children’s jaws are growing too much or are too narrow to allow their permanent teeth to descend properly. Children ages 6 and older with this kind of jaw discrepancy are considered to be candidates for the two-phase treatment. If children around 8 years old are experiencing crowding with their front teeth, this treatment can be used so that some of their permanent teeth won’t need to be extracted later. An expander or partial braces is a common Phase I treatment plan.

Our doctors will examine your child and, based on that exam and the photos and x-rays taken by our clinical team, they will determine if Phase I is the best option for your child. After a treatment plan is put in place our clinical team will work with the doctors to fit the prescribed appliance or braces.

Monitoring progress

By the end of the Phase I, our doctors will let you know if any of your child’s baby teeth may need to be removed so that more permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. You’ll return to the office for periodic appointments so that the doctors can observe your child’s development and decide on future treatment.

Resting period phase

Now, your child’s growth takes over. During this time, your child will lose all of their baby teeth and their permanent teeth will now come in. Without any retaining devices, your child’s teeth will be free to erupt and move a bit, since Phase I created extra space in the mouth where it was needed.

Phase II

Phase II usually involves both upper and lower braces, is when work is done to ensure that each tooth is in an exact location and fits with the rest of the mouth, and fits with your cheeks, tongue, and lips. After this is achieved your child’s teeth will be functioning as they should. Your child will be wearing a retainer after this phase is complete so that their confident smile remains.

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