What's the difference between Phase One and Phase Two

by Dr. Amer Hussain, on Oct 9, 2019 11:30:00 AM

Your child’s smile is one of the many things that just melts your heart.. Except you have some concerns. Is that tooth suppose to look like that? If you’ve ever had that thought, you should probably take your child to see an orthodontist.

 It’s recommended by the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, that a child should see an orthodontic specialist no later than 7 years old. Plenty of orthodontic problems can be resolved easier if detected earlier rather than later on when the jaw growth has slowed down.

The reason for seeing a child this early is because this will allow the orthodontist to assess how your child’s teeth, jaw and face a developing. They will allow them to make any early recommendation and spot any existing problems.

So, you follow our advice and head on over to an orthodontic clinic, they evaluate your child’s teeth and tell you may need Phase One and Phase Two treatment. But what does that mean?

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Phase One 
Phase one is used when your child has mixed dentition, which means a mix of baby teeth and their permanent teeth. The main goal of Phase One treatment is to avoid and lessen future orthodontic problems by addressing and correcting present ones. 

Phase one treatment commonly begins after your child’s first four teeth have erupted and before all the permanent teeth erupt. 

Phase One treatment is used to: 

  • Correct jaw development 
  • Create space to prevent future crowding
  • Avoid tooth extraction 
  • Create a path of least resistance for remaining and developing teeth so they come into their proper positions

What does Phase One treatment look like?
Phase One treatment can use a range of orthodontic appliances including:

  • Expander Appliances 
  • Space maintainers 
  • Limited Braces and eyelets
  • Specialized retainers

Usually, your child will need braces on their 4 top and bottom permanent teeth and eyelets (baby teeth braces) on the primary teeth to align all the teeth at the top and bottom. Expander appliances are used address crossbites, crowding and breathing (if a child has a narrow or deep upper jaw it makes it difficult for them to breathe through their nose which leads to mouth breathing).

Now, onto Phase Two or as it’s sometimes called Full Phase Treatment.

Phase Two is executed when all the permanent teeth have come in or are close to coming in (dependent on the case).  The main goal of full phase treatment is to correct any issues with the permanent teeth, generally speaking Phase Two has a focus on ensuring the teeth have good function, the bite is healthy and balanced and the teeth are aesthetically pleasing. 

Phase Two is used to:

  • Correct jaw development 
  • Correct crowding
  • Correct bite problems 
  • Have the teeth and jaw in ideal functioning positions which will help prevent wear, future jaw pain and muscle tension.

What does Phase two look like ?
With Phase Two treatment you can expect to be seeing the orthodontist every 8-10 weeks to change the wire. Once your child has completed their treatment you will receive two sets of retainers. 

One is a fixed retainer, which is a a thin wire that is worn across the back lower and upper teeth. Fixed retainers are bonded in place with a dental cement The second kind of retainer you’ll receive is a removable retainer to be worn at night. 

Whether you have already brought your little tyke in or are still wondering if you should, you can always book a free orthodontic consultation right away! 

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