Dr. Andrew J. Leland and happy kids

One of the greatest pleasures in life is watching your kids grow and develop. Seeing them gain skills, habits, and stature is all super important, and most parents try to get their children to the pediatrician’s office regularly to make sure that all is well as they grow. The same should be true for their oral health and development!

As children grow, there are things that an orthodontist can do to help promote healthy development. Dr. Leland offers this support for children and families, which sometimes includes two-phase treatment. Let’s spend a little time learning more about what two-phase treatment is and how it may help your child’s oral health in the long run!

What Is Two-Phase Treatment?

Two-phase treatment is an orthodontic intervention that is sometimes useful to support a child’s oral development. It starts with an early stage, usually when the child has a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, then a resting phase, and then the final stage after most of the child’s adult teeth have grown in. Breaking up the treatment into these phases can help your child’s teeth and jaws develop in the best way possible and set them up for success later on.

A few of the goals of two-phase treatment are to:

  • Build a foundation of health for the teeth and jaws
  • Help align teeth for a straight, beautiful smile
  • Create an optimized airway, to promote healthy breathing

Why Might My Child Benefit from Two-Phase Treatment?

There are a few reasons why Dr. Leland might recommend two-phase treatment for his patients. Some are preventative, some are interceptive, and others are about growth modification.

For example, if a child appears to be prone to a particular problem that we want to prevent, then this would be considered a preventative intervention. If a child was already developing certain problems, then their treatment would be interceptive. And if the child needs guidance for their bones to grow correctly, then that would be growth modification.

This is why the timeline of when you bring your child in for assessment and treatment is important. Around the age of seven, it is possible to determine how the teeth and bones are growing, and if there is a need to prevent, intercept, or modify their natural development in any way. Considering that they are still growing, it is much easier to do treatment at that age than try to fix things once they are already adults! But don’t be surprised if your child still needs a second phase of treatment later.

Understanding How Each Phase Works

Now let’s get into the details of how each phase works and the benefits they will offer for a life-long healthy smile for your child.

Phase 1

Once Dr. Leland has assessed your child and determined which kind of treatment they will need, you should be ready to get started with phase one of orthodontic treatment. This will often mean braces, expanders, and/or a facemask appliance. These devices will support jaw growth and accommodate all their future adult teeth and make room for their upper and lower jaws to fit together properly.

Having the jaws and teeth aligned will offer so many benefits to your child as they grow, including better chewing and improved digestion, better breathing, less jaw pain, and generally better health overall.

Resting Period

Once your child’s teeth and jaw are aligned and in a good position for future growth, then Dr. Leland will remove all devices and allow their bones and teeth to continue growing naturally. There should be plenty of space for their teeth to grow in, and their jaws to develop without pain or issues. Once they have lost most of their baby teeth and most of their mature teeth have grown in, then will be the time to come into the office for the second phase.

Phase 2

Phase two of treatment will often be more straightforward than phase one. The goal will be to create the final healthy alignment of all of the teeth, resulting in a stunning and straight smile that should be healthy for a lifetime when properly taken care of. This might be another round of braces or clear aligners.

It’s important for you and your child to be on board with following all of Dr. Leland’s instructions and recommendations during both phases of treatment. This means regularly wearing devices like rubber bands, and coming in for all appointments. One of the hard things is maintaining great oral health throughout the entire process. Tooth decay happens more easily when there are appliances on or around the teeth, so that means sticking to a dedicated cleaning schedule of brushing and flossing daily.

You will also need to be sure to come to all your appointments! It might seem like a big commitment at first, but once phase two is complete and your child is enjoying their straight smile along with healthy gums, jaws, and teeth, you will see all your efforts will be well worth it!

Explore Treatment Options at Leland Orthodontics

Now is the right time for you or your child to come into our Reno office for a free consultation appointment. At no cost, you will be able to talk through all the phases and treatment options with Dr. Leland and get set up with a plan on how to move forward for a healthy smile! Don’t hesitate to give us a call today!