If you’ve seen Finding Nemo or The Fairy Odd Parents, you’ve seen some young characters with braces and probably wondered if those characters were even old enough to be orthodontic patients, but they are! Orthodontic patients can be as young as seven!
Fortunately, most young patients of Dr. Howard don’t need to begin orthodontic work yet or ever. However, most orthodontic professionals still encourage you to have your child(ren) evaluated by an orthodontist no later than age seven to find and fix potential abnormalities early before they can produce symptoms that can damage your child’s quality of life.
If your child needs orthodontic care, we will likely suggest Two-Phase Treatment. If that sounds scary and time-consuming, don’t worry! It’s not!
What Is Two-Phase Treatment?
As the name suggests, Two-Phase Treatment is orthodontic care administered in two stages. Phase one occurs when your child is still young and has some of their baby teeth. Phase two usually happens a few years later once your child has lost all their baby teeth and has grown in most, if not all, of their adult teeth.
Who Needs Two-Phase Treatment?
Two-Phase Treatment is reserved for children who need preventative care (to stop a problem from developing), interceptive care (to stop an already developing problem), and to give developmental guidance (giving the jaw and teeth direction and assistance as your child grows).
At your child’s first appointment, our orthodontists will look for misalignment, tooth loss, spacing problems, tooth eruption, overbite, underbite, posterior bite, and anterior open or deep bites, among other things, that could be a reason to begin Two-Phase Treatment.
What Are The Benefits?
Two-Phase Treatment can benefit you and your child in many ways. Let’s check some benefits out.
As your child grows, orthodontic care because more complicated. Consider a child and an adult who have the same issue. The child could undergo simple treatment, such as braces, to solve the problem. But the adult could need complex treatments like pulling teeth, cosmetic surgery, corrective jaw surgery, or other invasive procedures for the same problem! Correcting a child’s still-developing bones is easier than an adult’s fully-developed bones.
Jaw Alignment Correction
A person’s jaw functionality is linked to many aspects of their life, such as chewing, communication, digestive health, biting, and more. If your child is currently having difficulty or at risk of having difficulty chewing or biting, eating can quickly become an unpleasant experience. If they have pain or trouble moving their jaw to eat, or fear choking, they could begin to feel negative emotions about eating. Over time, this could cause digestive issues and vitamin deficiency. An aligned jaw can make mealtime more inviting and pleasant and help you encourage healthy eating habits.
Improve Ability To Talk
Incorrect jaw alignment can also alter tongue posture, which could cause sleep apnea or other breathing issues and make talking very challenging. It also puts abnormal stress and wear on the jaw and teeth. Relieving this pain can prevent headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, migraines, and neck pain.
Easier Oral Hygiene Routine
Poor oral hygiene could lead to complex, expensive, and uncomfortable problems later in life. If your child has misplaced teeth, oral hygiene can quickly become frustrating. If their routine creates negative feelings, they might be less motivated to develop healthy, consistent habits. It is best to fix these issues quickly when they are younger because we don’t want them to associate dental care with “bad” emotions. An easier brushing and flossing routine improves your child’s attitude toward oral hygiene and promotes the development of healthy habits.
Reduced Risk Of Damaged Teeth
Overcrowded or overly spaced-out teeth (known as malocclusion) can grind and rub against each other. This friction can wear down the enamel and increase your child’s threat of cavities and other issues. Two-Phase Treatment fixes this malocclusion and creates space for incoming adult teeth to prevent further or future malocclusion.
Protruding teeth (teeth that stick out from the others) are more likely to become chipped, broken, or experience injury. Two-Phase Treatment lessens the likelihood of dental trauma by aligning the teeth.
Children might smile, laugh, or talk less to reduce discomfort caused by moving the jaw, gum disease, or tooth sensitivity. Pain can also cause poor sleep, which can affect brain function and communication skills. Lack of sleep makes daily tasks challenging. Feeling different from your peers or suffering from discomfort can lead to isolation, depression, and anxiety.
Two-Phase Treatment could reduce physical and mental pain by changing facial structure and improving oral hygiene.
Howard Orthodontics Can Help Determine If Two-Phase Treatment Is Right For Your Family!
Catching any issues or abnormalities early is key to quick and successful treatment. To discover if your child is a candidate for Two-Phase Treatment and get budget-friendly care without sacrificing results, contact Howard Orthodontics to schedule a free in-person consultation or click here to request a virtual consultation.
We look forward to meeting you and providing your family with the high-quality care they deserve!