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Your Friendly Murrieta, CA Orthodontist

Two-Phase Treatment Sets Your Child Up for Success

Most children who need orthodontic treatment go in for their first appointment between age 11 and 15. In most cases, this age is entirely appropriate. Children usually have all of their permanent teeth by age 12 and finding problems like crooked teeth and bad bites is simple. Identifying problems early can help you and your orthodontist decide if braces are the best option for your teen. Their metabolism and growth will be at its highest during this period, meaning treatment is shorter and less painful. However, sometimes children under 11 who still have baby teeth will be referred to an orthodontist as well. If your dentist has suggested your young child visit an orthodontist, Dr. Mitchell Orthodontics in Murrieta, CA can provide the answers you need. We sometimes recommend two-phase treatment for children in this age group. Learn more about two-phase orthodontic treatment for children below or contact Dr. Mitchell Orthodontics to find out if this option is best for your child.

What is Two-Phase Treatment?

Two-phase treatment can be a long process and require numerous orthodontist visits. When a child comes into the office of Dr. Mitchell Orthodontics, we’ll evaluate their oral health and decide if two-phase treatment is your best option. Sometimes, orthodontic problems can be corrected with braces for teens later on, but it’s preferable to know if your child should get a head start. As the name suggests, two-phase treatment is split into two separate plans that are often set apart by a few months or years.

Phase I: The first phase in the treatment begins while children still have baby teeth. However, phase I does not focus on the aesthetic of baby teeth since they will only fall out in the future. Treatment in this stage can deal with skeletal or muscular problems in the mouth and jaw. Your child’s orthodontist will correct jaw position to make enough room for new teeth as they grow in. Other kinds of treatment can include preventative care, gum maintenance, and directing growth of the jaw.  In short, phase I is to identify and correct underlying issues in the mouth, not to improve appearance.

Phase II: The second phase typically begins when your child, now a teen, has acquired all or most of their permanent teeth. Phase II includes standard orthodontic procedures. Your teen will get braces during this time and learn the advantages of wearing braces. Phase II will focus on straightening your teen’s teeth with braces and aligning their jaw properly. In general, phase II includes treatment that most people would regard as typical orthodontic treatment. Phase I prepares your teen for wearing braces later in phase II and sets them up for the best orthodontic health.

Orthodontic Care for Children

Two-phase treatment is recommended for our youngest patients. Pre-adolescent children who still have most of their baby teeth are usually ready to begin phase I. Typically, children who need early visits to an orthodontist will have their first appointment between ages 7 and 11. From there, phase I will last around a year. After that, your child will begin the waiting period, which varies from patient to patient. We usually suggest that your child wear a retainer until they’re ready for braces as a teen.

Two-Phase Treatment Has Long-Term Benefits

The reasons to start your child in two-phase treatment with your local orthodontist are many. Two-phase treatment identifies problems early, which means less time spent in phase II with braces. This type of care can fix numerous oral health problems. In the short term, your orthodontist can ensure your child’s jap develops correctly with enough space for adult teeth. Upper teeth that stick out can be corrected promptly, along with painful pressure that can cause teeth to move in the wrong direction. You child will see the benefits of two-phase treatment and braces for years to come. Early corrective treatment is much easier, in many cases, than treating the same condition in adults. Further, your orthodontist can decrease your child’s need to have teeth pulled in their later years. Whatever oral problems need fixing, the expert staff at Dr. Mitchell Orthodontics can give your child a beautiful smile that will last for years to come.

Contact Dr. Mitchell Orthodontics Today

If you have a dentist referral or questions about two-phase treatment, Dr. Mitchell Orthodontics is here for you. Schedule an appointment or call to found out if this form of care is right for your child. Make sure your child is prepared for braces as a teen with Murrieta, CA’s most trusted name in orthodontics. Contact Dr. Mitchell Orthodontics today.