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Have you noticed children with braces at younger ages these days? There’s a reason for that. As changes in orthodontic technology and philosophy have advanced, so have the approaches to orthodontics.
Before the introduction of two phase orthodontic treatment, it used to be that people waited for all of their adult teeth to come in before taking a seat in the orthodontist’s chair. By then, however, conditions had potentially worsened and crowding caused by a small roof palette, for example, was harder to fix. Often permanent teeth were extracted to make room.
Not only that, young adults were in braces longer—all through high school—during that fragile time when appearance takes on an importance of epic proportions. Why not address skeletal and bite issues sooner, while the body is still growing, and wearing cool colored bands is fun, not embarrassing?
The first phase of orthodontic treatment today typically begins when a patient’s jaws are still developing and whose permanent teeth have not yet come in—if tooth and jaw development could worsen without treatment. Make that first appointment by age seven.
We combine both straightening and the natural facial changes your child goes through as they age in one treatment. We can achieve the ideal function and appearance in one go—and the sooner the better. By starting sooner, we can be less aggressive and avoid surgery.
There are cases where your child only requires phase one and then they are done. In the case where they do need a phase 2.
After the adult teeth have all come in, we take a fresh look at the bite and teeth alignment. If crowding had been an issue during phase 1, and corrections made with an expander, for instance, were enough to allow for the adult teeth to position correctly, fantastic. Sometimes though we need a little more help to get them perfect. This is where Phase 2 comes into play.
Phase 2 can be as quick as a matter of months or can stretch longer, but is typically nowhere as long as the two to three-year span you might remember as a kid.
We’d love to discuss with you how we can tailor a plan according to your needs or your child’s. Schedule an appointment today to talk to our expert team at the Tampa offices of Dr. Gutierrez.