Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment - Manhattan Beach Orthodontist

Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment

Experts recommend that children visit an orthodontist by age 7 for an evaluation to see if early treatment is advised. Some parents may question this timing because most kids haven’t even lost all their baby teeth by that age, wondering if orthodontists are just trying to make a buck.  This is not the case an early orthodontic evaluation is crucial because it allows the orthodontist to identify and address potential issues while the child’s jaw is still growing. Timely intervention can help guide proper tooth alignment and jaw development, leading to better long-term oral health and potentially avoiding more extensive treatments in the future. Our goal is to help patients achieve their best smiles, and sometimes early orthodontic intervention is the ideal plan.

What is Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is not just for teenagers anymore. According to the Two-phase orthodontic treatment involves dividing the overall orthodontic treatment into two distinct phases. The first phase, during childhood, focuses on addressing specific orthodontic issues and guiding facial growth. The second phase, during adolescence, aims to achieve optimal tooth alignment and bite. By dividing treatment into two phases, orthodontists can address skeletal and dental issues separately and strategically, resulting in long-lasting oral health, functional occlusion, and an aesthetically pleasing smile. This approach allows for early intervention, reduced need for invasive procedures, and optimal results in terms of both function and appearance.

Phase One

Phase 1 of two-phase orthodontic treatment, also known as the early or interceptive phase, typically begins during childhood, usually around the age of 7 to 9. This phase focuses on addressing specific orthodontic issues and guiding the growth and development of the face, jaws, and teeth.

The primary goal of Phase 1 treatment is to create a favorable environment for the eruption of permanent teeth and correct any skeletal discrepancies that may be present. Our aim to address problems such as overcrowding, crossbites, underbites, overbites, or dental protrusions during this early phase.

Orthodontic appliances are commonly used in Phase 1 treatment to address these issues. These appliances can include braces, expanders, or space maintainers, among others. They are designed to guide the growth and alignment of the jaws and promote proper positioning of erupting teeth.

By intervening early in childhood, we can take advantage of the natural growth and development of the face and jaws to correct skeletal imbalances. This approach can lead to better facial aesthetics, improved function, and a more stable foundation for future orthodontic treatment.

Phase 1 treatment is beneficial because it allows orthodontists to address skeletal discrepancies and guide facial growth before all the permanent teeth have erupted. This early intervention can often minimize the need for more invasive procedures or tooth extractions later on. It can also help create a more harmonious balance between the jaws and other facial structures, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

It’s important to note that Phase 1 treatment is not necessary for all children. At our orthodontics office in Manhattan Beach we will evaluate each patient individually to determine if early intervention is needed based on their specific orthodontic needs and growth patterns. The decision to undergo Phase 1 treatment is based on the orthodontist’s expertise and the unique circumstances of each patient.

Phase Two

Phase 2 of two-phase orthodontic treatment, also known as the comprehensive or corrective phase, occurs after the majority of permanent teeth have erupted, typically during adolescence. This phase focuses on fine-tuning the alignment of the teeth and achieving an ideal bite and smile.

In Phase 2 treatment, our aim to address any remaining tooth misalignments or bite issues that were not fully corrected during Phase 1. The primary objective is to achieve optimal occlusion, where the upper and lower teeth fit together correctly, allowing for proper function and bite stability.

Braces or other orthodontic appliances are commonly used in Phase 2 treatment to apply gentle forces to the teeth, guiding them into their ideal positions. These appliances can include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, or clear aligners, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the patient.

Throughout Phase 2, drName will monitor the progress of tooth movement and make adjustments as necessary to ensure that the teeth are aligning properly. Regular check-ups and adjustments are scheduled to ensure that treatment progresses effectively.

The duration of Phase 2 treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case and the individual patient’s response to orthodontic forces. It can typically range from several months to a few years.

By completing Phase 2 treatment, patients can achieve not only straighter teeth but also an improved bite, enhanced facial aesthetics, and better overall oral health. The alignment of the teeth and jaws is optimized, resulting in a smile that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

It’s important to note that Phase 2 treatment builds upon the foundation established during Phase 1. The early intervention and guidance of facial growth provided in Phase 1 set the stage for successful Phase 2 treatment by addressing skeletal imbalances and creating an optimal environment for tooth alignment.

We carefully plan and coordinate Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment to ensure that the overall orthodontic goals are met. By dividing treatment into distinct phases, orthodontists can address both skeletal and dental issues strategically, resulting in long-term stability and a confident smile for their patients.

What are common Phase One treatments?

Phase One gives drName the ability to begin keeping orthodontic records for your child. This may consist of X-rays, photographs, and teeth models, which all help drName determine if early intervention will be helpful. It also allows drName to recommend types of appliances, frequency of visits, and treatment duration. During Phase One, the goal is typically not achieving perfectly straight teeth; instead, Phase One focuses on preparing the jaws for the eruption of adult teeth. Patients in this young age group have both baby teeth and adult teeth, which is an ideal time to correct teeth overcrowding and bite issues. Phase One treatment may also protect teeth from damage like chipping, because protruding teeth can be moved into more appealing and safer positions.

What happens in Phase Two?

The second phase of treatment ensures every tooth is in the best position related to other teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue. This provides for proper function and appearance. This phase usually starts once most or all adult teeth have erupted and the 12-year molars are near eruption. Phase Two can begin as early as age 11 and may be performed throughout a patient’s teen or adult years. Typically, Phase Two involves wearing both upper and lower braces and treatment lasts an average of 18-24 months. Patients are fitted with retainers after braces to help ensure their new smile lasts.


What if we skip early treatment?

Delaying treatment may mean more extensive and invasive treatments in the future. It can also eliminate the ability of the orthodontist to fully repair the patient’s smile. Early treatment is sometimes the best way to obtain the ideal, long-lasting desired results.

At what age to kids begin Phase One treatment?

Phase One treatment is recommended in about 10-20% of orthodontic cases, typically occurring between the ages of 7 to 11. Treatment usually lasts 10-14 months. drName will fit most patients with a retainer to wear until Phase Two begins.

What is the resting period?

If a retainer has been recommended, it should be worn during this time as the patient’s remaining adult teeth erupt. In some cases, retainers are not used so that there is greater freedom of movement for erupting teeth. Phase One should have created room for new teeth to grown in correctly however, avoiding impacted or severely displaced teeth. Some patients may need certain baby teeth removed to enhance adult teeth eruption during the resting period. Periodic checkups will be done by drName during this time to monitor patient progress. It’s important to remember that teeth are not in the final positions after Phase One treatment, as Phase Two will achieve the ending results.

Can two-phase orthodontic treatment help with speech and breathing issues?

Yes, two-phase treatment can address certain speech and breathing issues related to dental and skeletal abnormalities. By guiding facial growth and correcting underlying structural problems, we can improve airway function and enhance speech patterns for optimal oral health and overall well-being.

Is it necessary for all children to undergo Phase One treatment?

No, not all children require Phase One treatment. Each child is unique, and our orthodontic team will evaluate their specific needs to determine if early intervention is necessary. Factors such as dental development, jaw growth patterns, and bite alignment will be considered to determine the best course of treatment.

Can Phase One treatment prevent the need for tooth extractions in the future?

Yes, Phase One treatment can often create sufficient space for permanent teeth to erupt naturally, reducing the likelihood of tooth extractions later on. Early intervention can guide proper dental alignment and prevent overcrowding, helping to maintain a harmonious smile without the need for more invasive procedures.

Will my child need to wear braces in both Phase One and Phase Two?

The need for braces in each phase depends on the specific orthodontic needs of your child. While Phase One treatment focuses on jaw growth and creating space, Phase Two primarily addresses tooth alignment. Therefore, it is common for patients to wear braces or other orthodontic appliances in Phase Two to achieve the desired final results.

Can Phase One treatment correct thumb-sucking or other oral habits?

Yes, Phase One treatment can address and help correct harmful oral habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting. By intervening early, we can guide proper oral development, discourage these habits, and promote healthy dental and facial growth.

How long does the resting period typically last between Phase One and Phase Two?

The length of the resting period can vary depending on the individual patient’s dental development. During this time, the remaining adult teeth are allowed to erupt naturally. It typically lasts until most or all adult teeth have erupted and the patient is ready for Phase Two treatment.

Is there an orthodontist near me in Manhattan Beach that offers Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Yes.  At our Manhattan Beach orthodontic office we offer Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment to patients from Manhattan Beach and the surrounding area.  Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.