Phase II orthodontic treatment is what most people visualize when they think of a complete set of braces. While phase I early childhood orthodontics is for children under age eight, phase II orthodontics is for anyone older than 10 or 11 into their late teens.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is proven to decrease the time spent in full braces and prevent more severe problems later. However, not all children need phase I or early orthodontic treatment. In those cases, phase II orthodontic treatment is sufficient and typically lasts 18 to 30 months.
Who Needs Phase II Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is now common in children of all ages. Children become candidates for phase II orthodontics once a child's permanent teeth have finished erupting. While it's sometimes obvious that you or your child needs braces, only an orthodontic specialist can identify hidden issues that could lead to more significant problems if not treated.
Here are some common reasons for getting braces:
- Crooked teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Malocclusion, such as overbite or underbite
- Misaligned jaws
- Difficulty eating, chewing, or speaking
Wear and tear your teeth, TMJ, and sleep apnea may also be resolved with the proper phase II orthodontic treatment. Therefore, when you visit your orthodontist specialist, it's important to discuss all of your oral concerns that may signal the need for orthodontics.
How Does Phase II Orthodontics Work?
Braces consist of brackets bonded to the teeth and wires that run through each bracket, allowing the teeth to be moved into position over time. The materials used are one factor that differentiates braces:
- High-grade stainless steel is the most commonly used material for traditional braces. Much smaller than bulky braces of the past, metal braces are a cost-effective and versatile option for almost every type of malocclusion.
- Ceramic braces offer a natural-looking alternative to traditional braces. Typically more expensive, these tooth-colored braces can be slightly more prone to breaking.
- Clear aligners are another popular option that offers a faster treatment time for less complex treatments. These plastic, retainer-like trays are removable to make eating and dental hygiene simple and easy.
Typically, the more complicated the orthodontic problem, the longer you'll need braces. But you can be sure that you'll love your smile when the process is complete!
You may need to wear a retainer for a couple of years after your braces come off to ensure that your teeth don't move. Some patients need to wear a permanent retainer to keep their teeth straight in the long term.
How Can Your Child Benefit from Phase II Orthodontics?
When it comes to self-confidence, nothing beats teeth that are healthy, properly aligned, and well-cared for. If your child is self-conscious about smiling or laughing, investing in orthodontics can be life-changing.
But orthodontics aren't just for aesthetics. Fixing jaw, bite, and teeth problems can significantly impact their quality of life, including chewing, eating, speaking, and even sleeping.
Call for a Consultation Today!
Phase II orthodontic treatment is an investment in your child's future. Call our office today to learn more about how our orthodontic specialist can help you achieve your best smile.