Roughly 1 in 4 adults are orthodontic patients. Because adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment, adult patients are constantly growing. Some orthodontic issues, though, are easier to address when the patient is younger. In these cases, DiMarzio Orthodontics recommends two-phase treatment. What are the benefits of two-phase treatment, and what is it? Let’s find out!
Does My Child Need Braces?
If you notice that your child’s teeth are growing abnormally, your child will likely need orthodontic care. Common bite pattern issues include teeth being overcrowded, overly spaced out, or erupting in odd spots, such as deep into the roof of the mouth. If your child complains about, has difficulty with, or feels frustration during oral hygiene, chewing, or pain in the mouth or jaw, you should bring them in for an assessment.
Malocclusion can also cause behavioral problems in children — especially those suffering physical or emotional pain. You should look for irritability, refusal or hesitancy to eat or brush their teeth, and decreased interest in academics and hobbies.
However, the quickest, most accurate way to know if your child needs orthodontic treatment is to bring your child in for an appointment at DiMarzio Orthodontics! Our team will take X-rays and photos. They will also create a 3D impression of the teeth and gums. These images will allow Dr. DiMarzio or Dr. Marczak a detailed look at everything related to your child’s smile, including what’s under the surface! Our orthodontists also consider your child’s jaw placement and facial bone structure to ensure their final results are as flattering as possible.
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-phase treatment is administering orthodontic care in two phases that perform critical processes to improve your child’s smile’s health, function, and appearance. Two-phase treatment is how Dr. DiMarzio and Dr. Marczak conduct preventative treatment, interceptive treatment, and growth assistance. Let’s take a closer look at the two phases.
The goal of the first phase of treatment is to ensure the mouth has plenty of space to accommodate incoming adult teeth and improve how the two rows of teeth align when touched together. We achieve this by guiding the jaw’s formation and teeth growth while your child still has plenty of baby teeth. What orthodontic equipment your child needs to achieve this goal depends on the severity of the issue that needs improvement, but popular options include headgear or spacers.
Once your child has grown most or all of their adult teeth, it will be time for them to begin the second phase of treatment! Phase two is when your child gets their full braces, which can be fixed or removable, depending on their bite adjustment needs and lifestyles. This phase can take as little as six months or up to four years and is crucial to putting the finishing touches on your child’s bite. However long it takes, your child will love their healthy, gorgeous new smile when the treatment is over!
Are There Benefits To Early Treatment?
Absolutely! Though most young children do not need to begin orthodontic care right away, the American Association of Orthodontics encourages you to bring your children to see an orthodontist for initial assessment by the age of seven so that if they do need treatment, you can start their care sooner rather than later. While there is no “best age” or “right time” to receive treatment, early treatment is often the most beneficial route for those who need it. The following are some advantages of two-phase treatment.
1.) Improved Jaw Function
Your jaw is so much more than a place for your teeth to call home! Your upper and lower jaws are responsible for chewing, breathing, and communicating, and a poorly placed or improperly developed jaw can negatively affect those vital functions. Your child will have an increased risk of choking, dry mouth, breathing disorders, indigestion, and temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
2.) Easier Maintenance
Children with malocclusion might experience pain or difficulty thoroughly cleaning their teeth and gums, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up. If left untreated, this can create oral health issues like decay and bad breath. If your child has protruding front teeth, they are more likely to experience dental trauma or injury.
3.) Saves Time And Money
Because children’s bones are still developing, it is easier to manipulate their teeth and jaw to where they should be for optimal function, aesthetics, and health.
Let’s consider Lily, an adult patient. Lily has had the same orthodontic issue of overcrowded teeth and jaw misalignment for her entire life. After an initial assessment appointment, she learned she would need invasive treatment options (like jaw surgery or pulling teeth) to fix her issues. If Lily had gotten treatment as a child, she would have more than likely been able to fix her bite with two-phase treatment and avoid the previously mentioned procedures. Even if Lily did not need surgery, two-phase treatment would have been quicker and likely less expensive than her options as an adult.
4.) Boost In Confidence
With a new aligned smile, your child will likely feel more confident and have a higher level of self-esteem than if they had never gotten treatment. Your child will have an easier time creating platonic, romantic, and professional relationships throughout life because straighter smiles are associated with confidence, good health, and kindness.
Children who need but don’t get two-phase treatment might smile or talk less to avoid discomfort from or sharing their oral health issues with others. They also have a higher possibility of developing anxiety or depression from low self-esteem or bullying from their peers, which can have lasting effects on their mental health once produced.
Visit DiMarzio Orthodontics For A Free Consultation!
The best way to set your child up for orthodontic health success is to take them to a free consultation at our Quincy office! We have years of experience offering two-phase treatment to children in the area, and we are honored to be trusted with repairing your precious angel’s smile. You can feel confident they’re in good hands at DiMarzio Orthodontics!