Braces for Teenagers
What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The main advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your lifetime.
What if I put off treatment?
If orthodontic treatment is put off, it can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix the smile. Early treatment is most effective for achieving long lasting results.
Phase One: The foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles
The goal of Phase One treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to one another. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after the age of six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early treatment.
Planning now can save your smile later
Since children grow at a rapid pace, they can benefit a tremendous amount from an early phase of treatment, utilizing an appliance that can direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for the eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth have erupted, could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve the ideal result with braces.
During the resting period, the remaining permanent teeth will erupt. Retaining devices are not usually recommended since they may interfere with the eruption of the permanent teeth. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while final eruption of teeth occurs. A successful first phase of treatment will have created enough room for the teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced. 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. During the resting period, selective removal of primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption. Periodic recall appointments will be necessary every six months to monitor eruption into permanent dentition.
Second Phase: Stay healthy and smile bright
The goal of the second phase of treatment 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 properly together. At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan was established. Certain types of appliances may have been used during the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when most of the permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all of the teeth. Once phase two of treatment is completed, retainers are recommended to be worn to ensure that you retain your beautiful smile.