Some orthodontic conditions are easier to correct if they are diagnosed and treated while baby teeth are still present. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic evaluations at age 7 to determine if early, or interceptive, treatment is indicated. Interceptive orthodontic treatment is all about preventing more severe problems later on.
Dr. Childers is able to identify different conditions that would benefit from a two-phase treatment. By recognizing bite issues at an early age, he is able to decide when the appropriate time to start treatment is. Two-phase treatment addresses the structure of the jaw and teeth while the primary teeth are still in the mouth, allowing Dr. Childers to have more control where the adult teeth come in. Two-Phase treatment may prevent the need for removal of permanent teeth later on or, in severe cases, even jaw surgery.
As the name suggests, orthodontic treatment is divided into two parts, with a period of retention in between.
Phase 1 focuses on the proper development of the jaw so that the adult teeth will erupt in their correct position. Dr. Childers also monitors how the upper and lower jaws fit together. Jaws that are narrow or growing too rapidly can be diagnosed and treated earlier for best results.
During the resting period, the remaining teeth are left alone so that natural eruption can occur. Retaining devices that could alter that natural eruption eruption are not used, as it is best to allow permanent teeth the freedom to erupt in their usual position. If the first phase of treatment was successful, permanent teeth will have been given enough room to freely shift and find an eruption path.
The purpose of Phase 2 is to ensure that each tooth has an exact location in the mouth that syncs to the alignment of the lips, cheeks, and other teeth. Teeth will function properly when and only if this harmony takes place.
By age seven, or when the eight permanent incisors and four six year molars have erupted, your child’s mouth has developed enough to know how it will develop as the permanent teeth start to emerge.
If you would like more information on our two-phase treatment, please call our practice at: 618.438.2815 or contact us here to see how we can help you. We will work with you to find an appointment time that is convenient for you.