What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment? | 7 QUICK ANSWERS 1

What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment? | 7 QUICK ANSWERS

What is two-phase orthodontic treatment? As a parent, it is natural to worry about your child’s smile as their baby teeth begin to fall out and their adult teeth grow in. While this process occurs without a problem for most children, it is not uncommon for a referral to an orthodontist to be issued during a regular dental exam.

This is because more is known today about the importance of treating orthodontic issues early on. In fact, your child may have issues beginning to present themselves now that are treatable through minimally invasive methods so that they don’t face more difficult procedures to get a beautiful smile in the future. In this post, we’re going to answer your questions. There’s so much more below…




What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is designed to treat small problems early so that your child benefits from having teeth that are perfectly aligned as they grow in.


People also ask


Why Was My Child Recommended for What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

  • Families come to us from many different places in the community. You might have been told that your child needs to be seen by an orthodontist simply because they are reaching the age where the first consultation is recommended. Most kids should see an orthodontist by the time that they are seven years old. While this may seem early, kids this age have usually completed enough of their oral growth pattern for a professional to be able to see how their teeth and jaws will align as they continue to develop.
  • You might have also noticed potential malocclusion issues developing in your child’s mouth. By the time your child is seven or eight, they should have the first four teeth on the top and bottom of their mouth. Some kids may even have their adult canines. Seeing that these teeth are growing in crooked or jutting out is cause for concern that represents a need to schedule your child’s first appointment as soon as possible. Keep in mind that a recommendation to see an orthodontist does not always mean that something is terribly wrong. In many cases, we use this meeting to develop a plan for potential future needs.


Why Is Treatment Done in Two Phases?

  • Plans that require a double phase of care are developed to help address the unique needs of kids who still have some of their baby teeth. Orthodontic professionals have learned that treating issues such as a narrow jaw can help to create room for the adult teeth to grow in without being overcrowded. The first phase of your child’s care plan is primarily designed to treat issues that will later affect the adult teeth. While you may see some of their baby teeth shift into better positions during the process, the plan is more focused on helping their future smile.


What is Mixed Dentition?

  • You may hear your child’s doctor use this term to describe the phase they are currently in. Mixed dentition simply means that they still have some of their baby teeth with adult teeth also in their mouths. This term is important to know because it does mean that your child’s plan must take into consideration that some of their teeth will be lost over time.




What Types of Appliances are Used For Kids?

  • You may be concerned about how your child will handle having braces this early in life. Fortunately, many kids do not require major appliances during their first phase of care. Many times, we use expanders to help open up space for adult teeth to grow in. We may also use removable appliances such as retainers to adjust the position of the adult teeth that are already in their mouth or to correct a misaligned jaw. If your child does need braces, then we have several options available that can help you find one that fits your child’s maturity level and your ability to help them with their oral hygiene and maintenance plan.


What Are the Benefits Of Starting My Child’s Care Early?

  • We care so much about kids that we would not recommend starting their care so young unless it had many benefits. One of the most important benefits of starting orthodontic care early is to minimize the procedures that they will need later in life. Creating more space for their adult teeth to grow in while their jaw is still growing allows your child to avoid painful extractions. We can also help to align the jaw now so that it becomes a permanent part of your child’s facial structure. This can prevent them from needing oral surgery to correct issues later on.


Will My Child Be Wearing Braces for Years?

  • The good news is that your child will not be stuck wearing appliances for years of their childhood. Instead, most kids complete their first phase of care in around a year. After that, they enter what we call the resting phase. This phase lasts until their adult teeth are all mostly in. During the resting phase, your child may need a retainer to help keep the work we’ve done to that point in place. However, this is another area where every child is different, and you can expect to have an idea of what will happen during the resting phase after you talk to your child’s doctor.



What Happens During an Orthodontic Consultation?

  • Young kids have unique needs, which is why it is important to schedule your first consultation with an orthodontist who is used to working with younger patients. They’ll understand how to quell any anxiety that your child might have. They’ll also be eager to answer your child’s questions with the same level of attention that they give yours. Talking to your child during the consultation is an important part of helping them to be involved with their care.
  • A comprehensive exam is given during this time. Your child is probably already familiar with the process of having x-rays of their mouth done. They’ll also have a visual exam of their oral structures conducted by their orthodontist. After the exam is done, we will then talk to you about your child’s best options and let you know if they need the care to be done in two phases. If so, then we will make plans for their next appointment. Kids who are not candidates for having their care done in more than one phase will simply be asked to return for a second visit as they get the rest of their adult teeth in their mouth.



Do you have a child approaching the age of seven? Give us a call at Gorton and Schmohl for a consultation with Dr. Jasmine Gorton that lets you know how to plan for their two-phase orthodontic treatment.

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What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment? | 7 QUICK ANSWERS 2




Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle
Suite 200 Larkspur
California 94939
Text or call us at 415 459 8006

What is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment? | 7 QUICK ANSWERS