Can Early Orthodontic Prevent the Need for Braces Later on in Life?

two-phase orthodontic treatment Ann Arbor

Have you wondered what two-phase orthodontics is? Some parents fear it’s entirely unnecessary, but there is plenty we can say against that argument. In reality, early orthodontic interventions can help your kids ensure proper dental development as early as 7 years of age. Make sure you bring your child to a consultation with a board-certified orthodontist at the right time to help review their case and take the necessary actions while it’s most efficient to do so.

Let’s go along a few points of what two-phase orthodontic treatment can do for your child.

What Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

In essence, two-phase orthodontics refers to the treatment we orthodontists plan in two distinct stages to guide a child’s physical growth and dental development. Orthodontics has the potential to help children, teenagers, and adults achieve life-changing benefits through dental realignment, and this is never more true than when we get to oversee a child’s orofacial skeletal development from an early age.

Two-phase orthodontics leverages the child’s natural and predictable dental development to work on developing dental alignment problems and take the required actions when they’re most efficient.

What Is Phase I Orthodontics?

Phase 1 is all about an early intervention. This is the stage of orthodontic work that takes place when your kid still has some primary teeth and is starting to notice the eruption of some permanent teeth. Typically, this stage of orthodontic work takes place when kids are aged 6 – 11. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends prospective parents and everyone with a kid to bring their children to an orthodontist by age 7 because this is the time when their jaws are still growing, making the treatment process much more comfortable.

Considering that the most efficient way to deal with health issues is to avoid them altogether, you’d be right to assume that phase 1 ortho treatment focuses on identifying signs of arising problems related to a child’s jaw growth and skeletal development. This is a lot easier said than done when it comes to children with congenital diseases that affect their orofacial development, but it is still essential for kids with no apparent medical history of jaw malocclusion.

Ultimately, phase 1 orthodontic goals boil down to creating enough space in your kid’s mouth to allow permanent teeth to erupt normally and avoid dental alignment problems. To this end, we may use a few appliances, such as headgear, space maintainers, or palatal expanders, but we may also have to review cases of prolonged pacifier use and thumbsucking or correct bad habits, such as tongue thrusting. Anything that can negatively impact your child’s dental alignment as they age is a potential target for phase 1 orthodontic treatment.

What Is Phase II Orthodontics?

If there is a Phase 1 treatment, you can be sure there will also be a Phase 2 orthodontic treatment. Don’t worry, though; there isn’t a Phase 3 one. And with that joke out of the way, we want to start talking about the main portion of orthodontics and the stage that most people are familiar with. Phase 2 orthodontic treatment begins only after all of your kids’ permanent teeth have erupted.

With this stage of orthodontics, we’re no longer trying to avoid dental alignment problems. Instead, your kid would have ideally gone through initial treatment, and we’re now perfecting their dental and jaw alignment to achieve proper bite relation and dental function. Please keep in mind that jaw malocclusion has negative consequences related to chewing, speaking, and even breathing.

This is also the time when you will notice patients get traditional metal braces, Invisalign clear aligners, or other orthodontic appliances that suit their needs and unique circumstances best. These appliances will apply force over your teeth to move them gradually, efficiently, and safely into the desired alignment. Unfortunately, as efficient as it is, this will still take several months to finish. We don’t want to rush it and accidentally damage your teeth in the process.

What Are the Benefits of Two-Phase Orthodontics?

There are two main benefits: an early intervention can help avoid skeletal problems that worsen as your child ages, and two-phase orthodontics helps achieve sustainable long-term results related to proper dental alignment. We know parents can be apprehensive about making their kids undergo unwarranted medical treatment, as it can be traumatic for kids and have negative effects on their overall healthcare in the long run. Thankfully, orthodontists, such as the talented team at SBK Orthodontics, have experience and specialized training in helping kids achieve optimal oral health through proper dental alignment. Besides, visiting the orthodontist at an early age means, first and foremost, that your kids will receive guidance, and you, the parent, will receive recommendations on how to better care for their oral health.

How Does an Early Intervention Help My Kids’ Teeth?

As is the rule with everything related to healthcare, prevention is always the more efficient and the safest course of action. Parents who know of a history of jaw malocclusion in their family or who have had dental alignment problems in the past should bring their kids for an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as possible.

This is especially true for parents who know their kid will have some congenital disease related to skeletal development.

Early orthodontics helps a team of specialists lay the groundwork to correct skeletal issues and avoid worsening dental alignment conditions that will negatively impact your child’s growth, health, and social development. Besides, early interventions can help reduce the likelihood of dental extractions during later stages of your child’s orthodontic treatment.

Improved Long-Term Results

Overseeing a child’s dental development this early in life helps make the second phase of treatment focus solely on dental alignment instead of having to juggle attention to ongoing oral health issues or other problems that stem from skeletal growth issues. Not to mention that the groundwork made by early orthodontics makes wearing braces a much more comfortable experience.

In some cases, the work done by phase 1 orthodontics helps prevent phase 2 treatment altogether, saving a lot of time and money, and with the use of a good retainer, your kid won’t ever have to worry about the natural dental drift and position shifting that makes so many patients seek adult orthodontic treatment.

The aesthetically pleasing smile your kid gets as a result of their orthodontic treatment is not the only benefit they can enjoy, as well-aligned teeth are far easier to keep clean, which ensures their oral health is always at its peak when paired with a good oral hygiene routine.

Can Two-Phase Orthodontics Prevent the Need for Braces?

Yes, when given the right circumstances. Please consider that each child’s case is unique, and we can only give you a better estimate and project potential outcomes when you bring your kid to an initial appointment. The good news is that you can set up a free consultation for your kid if it’s their first time with us.

Some patients will still require the use of conventional metal braces or clear aligners in the second phase of treatment, and patients with complex skeletal growth problems will even have to wait until all their permanent teeth erupt to even start considering surgical options for a permanent fix. What we can ensure, however, is that early orthodontic treatment can help minimize the severity of the problems caused by jaw malocclusion, making it much easier for your kid to chew, speak, and eat normally.

Additionally, Ann Arbor’s two-phase orthodontics can help prevent more extensive and costly treatments later on, as it begins to create the space required by teeth to erupt. Patients who won’t need braces later will undoubtedly save a lot of money on dental healthcare.

Get Help From the Best Orthodontist Saline Has

We aim to provide the best orthodontic care available in Saline and other cities, such as Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, and Taylor, MI. If you’re interested in giving your child the best dental care possible, you should give us a phone call and set an appointment for your kid. We will gladly begin reviewing their case and help them in any way we can.

Ann Arbor Early orthodontics helps your kid avoid the more complex negative consequences of dental malalignment, and even though not every patient will avoid the use of braces, everyone who undergoes early orthodontic care can agree that it helps create an environment where their teeth erupt without much problem. We hope to see you soon!