Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.

Phase Two orthodontic treatment is a specialized process combining tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of phase two treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your child’s life.

Early Treatment – Phase One

The providers and staff at Palm Tree Orthodontics follow the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommendations for early intervention. The AAO recommends an orthodontic exam by the age of seven for all children. Only about 15% of children examined between the ages of 7 and 10 will need early intervention.

Indications for early intervention include improper skeletal development with one jaw growing disproportionate to the other, thumb and finger habits, crossbites, open bites, severe crowding, and severe deep bites. In addition, if children around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can avoid the need to extract permanent teeth later.

  • Planning now can save your smile later. Children benefit tremendously from early phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.

  • Making records to determine your unique treatment. Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During your child’s initial consultation, your doctor will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may not be recommended if they would interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

  • Monitoring your teeth’s progress. At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.

The first phase, Early Treatment, is designed to:

  • Enable correct biting and chewing

  • Correct harmful oral habits

  • Prevent a problem from developing

  • Intercept a developing problem

  • Guide the growth of the jaw bones that support the teeth so the teeth come in straight and the jaw grows in the correct alignment

  • Lower the risk of damage or breakage to protruded front teeth

  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

  • Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face

  • Establish long-term stability; the teeth remain where they are supposed to stay

  • Improve appearance

Traditional Braces – Phase Two

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces.

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaw. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.

The second phase, Traditional Braces, is designed to:

  • Move permanent teeth into their final positions

  • Continue improving teeth function and facial appearance

  • Continue to increase child’s self-esteem