What is 2-Phase Orthodontic Treatment?

Have you heard that your child needs 2-phase treatment when it comes to orthodontics? Or maybe, you know someone else who’s child is currently undergoing 2-phase treatment and aren’t quite sure what that means or if it’s right for your family. As always, we’re more than happy to answer all of your questions. We make sure to always explain all treatment plans during your appointments. But until then, here’s an overview of what a new patient can expect when it comes to 2-phase treatment.

What Does 2-Phase Treatment Mean?

Well, the basics are pretty simple to grasp. 2-Phase treatment means that there are two phases in your child’s orthodontic plan that will ultimately lead to them wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances twice. It’s recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that children see an orthodontist by the time that they are 7-years old. This is the optimal time to catch any potential problems that they may encounter down the road and start a preventative plan now. Which is often what Phase 1 does.

What is Phase 1?

This first step of 2-phase treatment is sometimes called early interceptive treatment because it is a way to get ahead of any problems that may occur as your child grows. Treatments may include expanding your child’s mouth, partial braces or other appliances. Basically, any orthodontic treatment that a child receives before their permanent teeth have come in is considered a Phase 1 treatment.

Kiddos with bite problems are most often the ones who will find the best results from the Phase-1 treatments of a 2-phase treatment plan. This includes crossbite, underbite, overbite, and open bite. Phase-1 can also correct protruded top teeth (sometimes called buck teeth) and crowding as a result of early loss of baby teeth.

Most Phase-1 treatments occur in kids aged 6-10. A lot of parents think that seems early for orthodontics, but it really can prevent the need for a more intense treatment plan in the future that can be painful and expensive. The good news for 2-phase treatment is that Phase-1 treatment is usually pretty quick, lasting 9-12 months on average.

What is 2-Phase Treatment Resting Period?

After Phase-1 is completed, your kiddo will most likely get a pretty good break from orthodontics for a while before Phase-2 starts. The resting period can last several years, but your child may still need to come in for checkups or wear a retainer at night.

What is Phase-2

When all or most of your child’s permanent teeth have come in, he or she will be ready for the Phase-2 portion of their 2-phase treatment. This usually occurs around the ages of 12-14. While Phase-1 was to correct very specific concerns based on your child’s mouth, Phase-2 is much closer to what people think of traditional orthodontics. Basically, it means braces or aligners that are a different treatment and payment plan than the initial phase. This Phase-2 will straighten and perfect your child’s smile!

We’re here to help!

When the time comes to find out whether 2-Phase treatment is right for your child, our epic orthodontists and team will be here to answer all of your questions! Your family and creating long lasting smiles are our top priority. Whether that is in one phase or a 2-Phase treatment, we promise you’ll love the results!


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