Early Orthodontic Treatment (First Phase)
Is a specialized process that takes advantage of a critical period of jaw growth to maximize the potential for successful tooth alignment in the future. At the age of seven, we can begin to identify serious misalignment issues, for example an upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough. If left untreated, jaw discrepancies and overcrowding will likely get worse over time and may become too severe for braces to be effective.
Early treatment takes place during the mixed dentition phase. This means that the child still has both permanent and baby teeth. During this phase, which usually takes 12-18 months, we correct problems such as overcrowding and functional and bone problems with the jaw to encourage a more balanced bite. The treatment may include a combination of appliances plus braces on existing permanent teeth.
Overall, the benefits of First Phase treatment are:
- Improved health, function and aesthetics
- Reduced need for extraction later on second phase.
- Reduced need for jaw surgery
- Improved airways
- A nicer smile
- Proper facial growth potential
In between the First and Second Phases, a rest period is observed during which we wait for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt. We will see you during the resting period, usually once every 3-6 months, to monitor your progress and growth.
Second Phase or Full Comprehensive Treatment
The second phase of treatment begins once all of the permanent teeth have erupted. It usually involves a full set of upper and lower braces. Because the jaw is in a better position and each permanent tooth has found its proper space, often at this stage we can focus on aesthetics alone, building a beautiful and confident smile to last a lifetime.