Alborzi Orthodontics is proud to offer free consultations in our San Mateo and Half Moon Bay offices. If you’ve been wondering whether your child could benefit from an orthodontic evaluation, now’s the perfect time to find out! During this visit, Dr. Alborzi will perform a thorough oral examination to assess the development of their smile. Following this, she may speak to you about something known as interceptive orthodontics. While this term may sound a little intimidating, the process itself is pretty straightforward!
In simple terms, interceptive orthodontics is a process that is recommended and completed before all of a child’s permanent teeth have erupted. In older children, the focus is often on straightening their teeth. In our younger patients, we concentrate more on correcting skeletal imbalances or other developmental issues that require immediate attention. Early treatment allows us to reduce or eliminate associated symptoms, dramatically improve a child’s facial balance, and in many cases, keep future procedures to a minimum.
The process involved in interceptive orthodontics can be summed up by what we refer to as two-phase treatment. This specialized service allows us to treat our younger patients with a proactive approach, instead of a reactive one. Dr. Alborzi may recommend this treatment for children she anticipates will need orthodontics as they grow. Let’s take a closer look at what two-phase treatment involves and how it can create long-lasting results our patients love!
The basics of two-phase orthodontic treatment
Just like the name implies, two-phase treatment involves a child receiving orthodontic treatment at two separate times. Phase I is usually initiated when the child still has a mix of baby and adult teeth, which is then followed by a period of rest. Phase II will generally begin when all or most of a child’s adult teeth have emerged. This allows us to create a better environment for the child’s permanent teeth to grow into by:
- creating a more optimal relationship between the teeth and jaws
- aligning the teeth, resulting in a straighter smile
- positioning the teeth and jaws for more pleasing facial symmetry
At Alborzi Orthodontics, your doctor creates early treatment plans based on the normal patterns of childhood growth and development. This gives us the best chance for improving and correcting orthodontic issues at the most opportune time! Many of these problems can be treated relatively easily in a growing child but could require more invasive treatment as they age and their jawbones stop growing. With interceptive orthodontics, we’re often able to achieve lasting results for:
- children who are prone to a particular problem that we want to keep from developing (preventive treatment)
- children who have a developing problem that we now want to intercept (interceptive treatment)
- children whose jawbones may need a bit of guidance as they grow (growth modification)
Understanding the basics of each phase and what happens during the resting period is helpful for parents whose children may benefit from two-phase treatment. Keep reading to learn more about how the whole process works together to create happier, healthier smiles!
The purpose of Phase I treatment is to guide the child’s jaw development so that their mouth can better accommodate all of their permanent teeth. There are many benefits to this, including an improvement in the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Patients may also find that they’re able to bite, chew, and digest food more effectively after Phase I treatment. The risk of tooth damage due to crowding, misalignment, or malformed jaws is reduced as well.
Treatment in this phase contributes to long-term stability, meaning the teeth stay in whatever positions they’re guided to. The second phase of treatment will continue this stabilizing process by moving the teeth into their final positions. Before we can begin this, however, there will be a period where the child’s permanent teeth are emerging. While this is happening, we’ll suspend any orthodontic treatment. This gives their teeth, jaws, and mouth a temporary break.
After we have successfully achieved the first phase of treatment, the remaining permanent teeth should have a clear path to erupt. We’ll keep teeth stable during the resting period by using either a space maintainer or a non-removable retainer.
In Phase I, we make orthodontic records for the child and Dr. Alborzi establishes a diagnosis and treatment plan. We’ll use different types of orthodontic appliances to correct misalignments of the teeth and jaw. In the second phase of treatment, everything begins to come together! Our goal in Phase II is to ensure each tooth is precisely placed to balance out the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. This is usually achieved by using Damon braces or Invisalign clear aligners once all the permanent teeth have erupted. Once this phase of treatment is complete, we’ll provide the child with a retainer to ensure their newly straightened smile stays in place!
Find your child’s best smile with Alborzi Orthodontics
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that maximizes our opportunity to achieve a beautiful, healthy, and functional smile that will remain stable throughout a child’s life. Delaying necessary treatment may lead to more invasive procedures later in life that aren’t able to produce the same outcome. Early treatment is the most effective option for lasting results!
Here at Alborzi Orthodontics, we believe your child’s smile is as unique as they are. What works for one patient may not be a good fit for another, so you’ll never catch us using a “one size fits all” approach to orthodontics! Instead, Dr. Alborzi will build a customized treatment plan for your child based on their specific needs, lifestyle, and goals. Is your child ready for their first orthodontic evaluation? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our San Mateo or Half Moon Bay office.