When your kids are young and constantly growing, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes. These early stages of development happen so fast, it can feel like you blink and you miss them! One thing you should start planning for early is getting your child into orthodontic treatment before they are a teenager. Early treatment and interventions can be the best bet to guarantee a beautiful and healthy smile in the future!
If your child is close to seven years old, it’s time to start considering your options and where you should take them to be evaluated. Smiles of Palmetto Bay is one of the best places to go for your child’s orthodontic care. Dr. Ross has been seeing children, teens, and adults for many years and knows all about how to prep kids for long-term success with their smiles. Let’s spend a little time talking through two-phase treatments for kids specifically and see if it could be a good fit for your child.
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is exactly what it sounds like–a treatment plan that takes place over two phases. But why would this be necessary, and why only for kids and not adults as well? Well, this is because when a child’s teeth and bones are still growing, they are much easier to adjust for greater health and alignment later on! It also allows Dr. Ross to catch any potential problems and treat them before they become bigger or harder to manage later on!
Ultimately, our goal for your child is to prepare their teeth for three things as they age. We want to build an excellent foundation of health for their teeth and jaw as they grow. We hope to align their teeth for a straight, beautiful smile. And we want to position their jaw for facial symmetry as the bones develop. If we can accomplish these over two phases of treatment we will be super pleased with the results, and we think you and your kid will be too!
Why Might My Child Benefit from Two-Phase Treatment?
Let’s spend a little time exploring why some children have a greater need for two phases than others. The truth is, it often comes down to genetics and their natural facial structure as to who might need two-phase treatments and who won’t. When you bring your child in for an early assessment, Dr. Ross can often quickly determine if their tooth and bone development will cause issues later and needs to be tended to sooner rather than later.
If Dr. Ross does believe that your child would benefit from two-phase treatment, there are often three reasons. One is that they need some preventative intervention to keep potential problems like bite issues from happening in the future. Another reason is when some problems have already appeared in their early development with the shape or size of their jaw, and they need interceptive interventions to stop it from progressing. And another reason is for general growth modification just to make sure their development is on track and stays that way.
If you get any of these recommendations during the early assessment, it’s a good idea to consider your options and listen to Dr. Ross’s suggestions. We know it’s a big step, but setting your child up for oral health success is a huge gift that they will appreciate for the rest of their lives and as they age!
Understanding How Each Phase Works
So now that we know why two-phase treatments are important, let’s go through how each phase works so that you would know what to predict if you did a two-phase treatment with your child.
Phase one will start after the initial assessment and Dr. Ross suggests a treatment plan. Treatment might entail braces on a few teeth, a retainer, headgear, spacers, rubber bands, palatal expanders, or whatever Dr. Ross suggests. Remember, this phase isn’t about making your child’s smile perfectly straight, but is more about jaw and bite alignment, and shifting their bones to grow in the correct way.
This treatment will take at minimum a few months, and up to a few years. The timeline for each child will be different, so be sure to speak to our team often about what they predict will be necessary for your child. Along with regular visits to our office, when the time is right Dr. Ross will recommend removing the devices, allowing some time and space for your child to grow naturally.
This resting period timeline will be determined by your child’s natural growth. It typically can be for a year up to a few years at a time, allowing for your kid to finish losing all their baby teeth and for their mature smile to start growing into place. You will still be coming into our office fairly regularly to have our team monitor their progress. When the time is finally right, we will let you know to start the final phase–phase two.
Phase two almost always includes a full set of orthodontic devices, either with braces or Invisalign retainers. We will work on getting all of their teeth in the best possible alignment so the final result with be a super straight and stunning smile, with an aligned jaw and bite. This phase of treatment might last for another year or two depending on your child’s needs as always. And once this one is done, you should be done forever!
Remember that during this phase of treatment, it will be especially important to comply with our recommendations like maintaining a regular cleaning routine, wearing any extra devices like rubber bands diligently, and showing up to all your appointments. Your compliance will equal a beautiful and healthy smile at the end of treatment that will absolutely last a lifetime!
Explore Treatment Options at Smiles of Palmetto Bay
We know that it’s not easy to prioritize all the details of your child’s care, but we feel sure that you’ll be grateful that you set them up for a healthy smile for life. The best place to get the treatment you need in the Palmetto Bay area is Smiles of Palmetto Bay! Our team is eager and ready to schedule your family for a visit, so give us a call today!