Dr. Bethany and Dr. Liz support the American Association of Orthodontists' recommendation that children be evaluated by an orthodontist for the first time at age seven. We are happy to provide a complimentary exam at our Hilliard orthodontic office, which includes a panoramic X-ray and photographs, to evaluate your child’s developing teeth and determine the need for treatment. At your child’s appointment, we will explain what normal development should look like, whether anything is deviating from this course for your child, and whether those things indicate a need for intervention or simply require monitoring until they are older.
Why two-phase treatment?
Some patients have specific types of problems (like cross bites or severe crowding that prevents the normal eruption of teeth) that require orthodontic treatment at a younger age (around seven to nine years old). In these cases, it is beneficial to intervene with early orthodontic treatment because postponing the correction of these problems can create a more severe problem that is more difficult to correct later.
Benefits of two-phase treatment
- Patients who receive two-phase treatment can achieve better results because some problems become increasingly difficult to correct as we get older and more teeth erupt.
- Patients may require less dramatic intervention, in some cases avoiding the extraction of permanent teeth if space is managed effectively at a young age.
- Because both phases of treatment are kept shorter than one single phase, we find it easier to maintain motivation and compliance during the two phases.
Some types of problems, if not addressed early, can allow the permanent teeth to erupt into the wrong places or not erupt at all, which can even have an effect on the gums covering the teeth. Other problems can affect jaw growth. If these problems aren't corrected early while the jaws are most receptive to growth modification, the patient's only alternative later in life may be jaw surgery to correct the problem.
Phase One: Your child’s smile foundation
During Phase One, Dr. Bethany and Dr. Liz aim to keep things short and sweet! Our goal is to quickly correct only the problems that must be corrected immediately and get your child back on track towards normal development. Keeping Phase One treatment brief helps patients and parents to stay motivated and maintain good hygiene throughout treatment. Usually at this age, patients will need extra help with brushing and flossing. We also aim to make Phase One treatment a positive experience so that the child gains confidence with the orthodontic process and continues to be excited to finish in Phase Two.
During the resting phase, we will provide a space maintainer (retainer) whose purpose is to maintain the correction that we achieved. We remind parents that the teeth are not in their final position yet, and it is normal to see some relapse in the form of space opening between teeth and slight rotation or crowding. These are problems that will be corrected in Phase Two, and after that we will provide the long-term retainers that will keep the teeth in their final positions.
Phase Two: Creating a beautiful smile
In Phase Two, we ask our patients to take on more of the responsibility of their treatment themselves, especially when it comes to brushing and flossing. This phase often requires more cooperation with rubber bands (elastics) and other appliances. We want to help our patients to really be engaged in their treatment and invested in the results. Because they had Phase One treatment, we know that with great cooperation, their second phase should not take as long as it otherwise would have!
A Path to Smile Success at Scioto Orthodontics
Our main goal in any case is to make your child’s orthodontic experience a positive and a healthy one. Minimizing interventions to be conservative and include only necessary treatment helps to maintain excellent oral health. Dr. Bethany and Dr. Liz are committed to being open and honest about why your child may need treatment and what you can expect if treatment is postponed. We invite questions and are more than happy to answer them!