Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize growth opportunities to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, esthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.
First Phase Treatment
The goal of first phase treatment is to help relate the upper and lower jaws to each other and to maximize arch width development. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems and significant crowding problems as they grow and develop. If children after age 6 are found to have a jaw discrepancy or have crowding issues, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. The type of appliance that is used is dependent upon the problem that exists.
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. There is often a “resting period” between Phase I and Phase II to allow for loss of baby teeth and eruption of permanent teeth. Selective removal of certain baby teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a 4-6 month basis.
Second Phase Treatment
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. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.