The best time for treatment is when an orthodontic problem arises, but as a general rule, age 7 is an ideal time to get an evaluation, especially if you see any of the following:
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked out-teeth
- Jaws that are too far forward or back
- Breathing constantly through the mouth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- An unbalanced facial appearance
The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together.
Depending on the type and severity of the dental/ jaw problem, Phase 1 treatment may be needed. Early treatment can:
- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Help develop facial/jaw growth
- Correct harmful oral habits
- Reduce the severity of the case and subsequent future treatment
- Improve your child’s bite and self confidence
We will need to take orthodontic records to determine the appropriate treatment and appliances that will be needed. Phase 1 treatments take approximately 1 year, but can be longer or shorter for each patient.
During this period, Dr. Liu will be monitoring your child's teeth progress as the remaining permanent teeth finish erupting. Retaining devices are usually needed but may be discontinued if they interfere with eruption. In addition, selective removal of certain baby teeth may be needed to facilitate eruption; therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase Two usually involves full upper and lower braces or Invisalign.
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan was established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaw.
The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure the beautiful new smile is retained.