If you’re anything like us, taking care of your kids is always your top priority! There are so many factors to consider when thinking about a child’s development–their physical, mental, and emotional well-being are all super important, and it can sometimes feel hard to keep up.
That’s why our team at Johnson Family Orthodontics is here to help you take care of your child’s teeth as they grow! We recommend that everyone brings their child into our practice starting around the age of seven in order to assess their smile and help them with their development. Some children need a little extra support along the way to ensure that their teeth and jaws grow in the healthiest way possible, and for those kids, we recommend two-phase treatment.
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is exactly what it sounds like and is used specifically for children when they are young. Phase one of treatment usually happens before all of their adult teeth have even grown in. This is the perfect time to get started since their bones are growing and are easier to adjust and make space in their mouths for a healthy smile later. The treatment will often consist of braces, retainers, headgear, palatal expanders, or whichever devices Dr. Johnson recommends for your child’s unique dental needs.
After that stage of treatment, there will be a rest period to allow your child to develop naturally. This is followed by a second stage in another few years to do more precision work to straighten all the teeth and make their smile as healthy and aligned as possible!
Why Might My Child Benefit from Two-Phase Treatment?
Not every child will need two stages of treatment as it entirely depends upon their unique genetic and facial structure. Some children pick up myofunctional habits as infants where they suck their thumbs or fingers and other behaviors that can impact the shape of their jaw as they grow. In these cases, Dr. Johnson will often recommend starting phase one to help create space and room for more alignment later.
There are a few approaches to these problems, called preventative interventions, interceptive interventions, and growth modification. Preventative interventions will stop problems before they even start, interceptive means adjusting the growth patterns of your child’s mouth after some problems have already come up, and growth modification means just creating a new way for the mouth and jaws to grow.
The second phase usually offers the regular orthodontic treatment that other kids or even adults might get now that they have been set up for success in phase one. This will prevent them from needing more painful and invasive procedures to fix bone and jaw issues!
Understanding How Each Phase Works
Now let’s dig into the process of how each phase works.
Phase one starts with an evaluation by Dr. Johnson, at which time he determines if there is a preventative, interceptive, or growth modification needed to create a healthy jaw and mouth. He will then get them set up with their treatment, starting with braces, retainers, headgear, palatal expanders, or whatever else he deems necessary. That phase of treatment can last a few months or years and once they come off, their jaw and teeth will be growing in the best alignment possible.
Following phase one, there is usually a rest period of a few years where your child’s teeth are allowed to grow and mature. During this time they usually lose the rest of their baby teeth and their adult teeth have mostly come in. You will still come to our office for semi-regular appointments with Dr. Johnson to just check in on their progress and to decide when they are ready for the second phase.
Finally, when the time is right phase two will begin with a new treatment, usually with braces or Invisalign retainers depending on what they need and prefer. It’s important during phase two for your child to keep up with healthy hygiene practices, come in for their regular appointments, and follow all of Dr. Johnson’s instructions!
At the end of their second treatment, their teeth will be beautifully straight, with a more symmetrical appearance and a healthy jaw that should last them for life! We know that this moment will make all that effort well worth it!
Explore Treatment Options at Johnson Family Orthodontics
If you or your child are ready to get started toward a healthier and happier smile, then now is the perfect time to give our Salem office a call! Our entire team at Johnson Family Orthodontics is eager and excited to get your treatment started and to see the smile transformation that is to come!