As a parent, you want what’s best for your child’s oral health. Yet, many parents just like you do not realize that setting your child up for a beautiful and healthy smile begins as early as when they turn six years old.

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is designed for young children. It targets jaw issues early to ensure your child’s permanent teeth develop properly. Once they do, two-phase plans set the stage for straighter teeth.

Haven’t heard of this unique approach to kids orthodontics? You are not alone. We created this guide to help parents like you understand what a two-phase orthodontics plan is, if your child is a candidate, and the benefits to expect.

What Is Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a unique process designed to ensure your child’s jaw develops normally, making plenty of room for their teeth to grow straight. It incorporates two phases of orthodontic treatment.

The first phase focuses on physical facial changes targeting the jawline. The second phase happens many years later. The goal of this phase is to straighten teeth for a healthier, more beautiful smile.

The ultimate goal is to ensure your child’s teeth and jaw function optimally. Additionally, two-phase treatments can reduce the need for more expensive orthodontic services later in life.

Who Needs Two-Phase Orthodontics?

Two-phase orthodontics are designed for children. The first phase is beneficial for many children as young as seven years old or whenever they lose their first baby tooth. Older children may also be prime candidates if they have:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Flared upper teeth
  • Gapping teeth
  • Overlapping teeth

Children who receive phase-one treatments may benefit from a second phase of orthodontic services. Phase two takes place after all the permanent teeth have come in when your child is around 11 or 13 years old.

The Two-Phase Orthodontics Process

As the name suggests, the two-phase orthodontic process involves two phases of treatment. There is also a required resting period between these two phases. Learn more about the steps in this process next.

Phase One Orthodontics

Phase one of a two-phase orthodontic treatment plan will take place after your child loses their first baby tooth. Your child may be as young as four or as old as seven when they begin to lose their teeth.

The goal of this phase is to ensure your child’s jaw develops normally. Your kids’ orthodontist will check to ensure top and bottom jaw alignment and that they are the right size to accommodate all 28 permanent teeth.

A common reason an orthodontist would recommend two-phase orthodontics is if the upper jawline is too large or narrow. Children with severe teeth crowding issues are also good candidates for phase-one orthodontics.

The Resting Phase

Even though it is called two-phase orthodontics, this procedure actually includes a third: the resting phase. During this time, your orthodontist will put off any additional procedures until your child’s permanent teeth come in.

Most children have all of their permanent teeth in by age 11 to 13. However, some children retain baby teeth into adulthood, so this is not a hard and fast rule.

Importantly, your child’s orthodontist won’t want to wait until the third molars (AKA wisdom teeth) grow in, as most people do not develop wisdom teeth until their late teens or early twenties.

Phase Two Orthodontics

Phase two of a two-phase orthodontic treatment plan will come after the resting phase. The resting phase will last until your child’s final permanent tooth grows in, or around 11 to 13 years of age.

The goal of this phase is to ensure the teeth are straight and well-aligned for a healthy bite. The primary treatment involved in phase two of a two-phase plan is braces. There are many types of braces options available.

How long your child has to wear braces or aligners depends. Children with mild overbites and a few crooked teeth may only have to wear them for 12 months. More severe issues may require up to 24 months to correct.

Benefits of Two-Phase Orthodontics for Kids

We have already mentioned that two-phase orthodontics for kids can reduce the need for costly oral procedures in the future. But what other reasons should you consider this type of treatment for your child?

A two-phase plan is also advantageous for ensuring proper jaw growth, correcting the consequences of childhood oral habits, and boosting your child’s self-esteem now and in the future.

Ensure Proper Jaw Growth

Unequal jaw growth may lead to aesthetic issues that can impact your child’s self-confidence. But it can also have negative implications for their oral health, which can be avoided with two-phase orthodontics.

An uneven bite and tooth wear are two common issues that happen due to improper jaw development. Speech impediments and difficulty chewing or swallowing are also consequences of unequal jaw growth.

Correct Harmful Oral Habits

Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting are two common childhood habits. They may seem harmless, but these habits can impact tooth development. For example, children who suck their tongues may end up with flared upper teeth.

Two-phase orthodontics can correct the consequences of these harmful childhood habits. Your child’s smile will not only look better but also function properly.

Boost Their Self-Esteem

Countless studies have shown that not liking your smile can significantly impact your self-esteem. Children who are self-conscious of their teeth may also smile less in public, which can negatively impact their connections with peers.

Two-phase orthodontics ensures that your child’s teeth and jawline develop with a balanced and attractive aesthetic. As a result, they will feel more confident and thrive in their social spheres.

Two-Phase Treatment at Parrott Orthodontics

Two-phase orthodontic treatment for kids is the first step toward lifelong oral health. It involves addressing early jaw growth and development before straightening the teeth to ensure your child gets the most out of their orthodontic treatment.

Are you searching for a kids orthodontist offering two-phase treatments in Staunton or Waynesboro? Parrott Orthodontics offers personalized treatment plans for children in the greater Augusta County area.

Schedule an appointment online to start phase one of your child’s journey to a healthier, more beautiful smile today!