Two-Phase Orthodontics in Charles County and St. Mary’s County, MD
Parents in Charles County and St. Mary’s County, Maryland, who are considering two-phase orthodontic treatment for their children, are encouraged to contact Sequence Orthodontics, conveniently located in Waldorf and Leonardtown, for more information.
What is Two-Phase Orthodontics?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment, also known as early, preventative or interceptive orthodontics, is a specialized process that combines straightening of teeth with structural facial corrections. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to optimize oral health, as well as aesthetic results that will remain stable throughout the patient’s life. In the past, oral surgery was typically more common, and orthodontic treatment was more aggressive. By approaching treatment in multiple phases and beginning treatment at a younger age, surgery may be avoided while bringing about effective orthodontic results through a more gentle and gradual process.
What is the Reasoning behind Two-Phase Orthodontics?
If a child has a serious orthodontic condition at age seven, it is almost certain that he or she will need to wear braces as a teenager; however, starting orthodontic treatment early is beneficial in some patients for many reasons. The gum tissue around teeth is affected by where the permanent teeth grow in the mouth. If a child’s canines come in very high due to overcrowding, the gum tissue over those teeth will always be higher than the surrounding teeth, even if grafting is performed. Expanding the dental arches to create enough space for normal eruption helps prevent many of these gum problems. Early expansion to accommodate growth may also help to prevent future surgery. Early treatment may also prevent future extractions caused by overcrowding. In some rare cases, early treatment may eliminate the need for full braces or reduce the time required to wear them. Early correction of orthodontic problems also has psychological benefits by giving a child a beautiful smile that protects them from teasing and name-calling, improving self-esteem and changing the way they approach the world.
Is My Child a Good Candidate for Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children be examined by an orthodontist at age seven. This is to screen for those patients who will require two-phase orthodontic treatment. Children whose jaws are still growing and developing and whose permanent teeth have not yet fully come in are optimal candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Typically two-phase patients are those in which the orthodontist has detected problems with tooth and jaw development that could become worse if left untreated. When teeth and jaws, as well as surrounding soft tissue, are still in the development stages, orthodontic treatment is much more easily and gently accomplished than if left until the teen years.
What Should I do Next?
If you live in Charles County or St. Mary’s County, Maryland and want to learn more about two-phase orthodontic treatment for your child, contact our Waldorf or Leonardtown office to schedule a consultation at Sequence Orthodontics.