Zurcher Orthodontics

Phase I and II Pediatric Orthodontics

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Phase I and II Pediatric Orthodontics

Phase I, which is also referred to as early interceptive treatment as it occurs between the ages of 6 and 10, is limited orthodontic treatment that is done before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Treatment options can include partial braces or retainers. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, or correct crossbites, overbites, and underbites and harmful oral habits.

The benefits of Phase I treatments include:

  • The reduction in need to remove permanent teeth
  • Reduction of the need for jaw surgery
  • Improved self esteem
  • The guidance of permanent teeth into the best possible position
  • Improved speech development and lip competence
  • Lowers the risk of protruding front teeth
  • Preserves and makes space for erupting teeth
  • Improved esthetics
  • Improved dental arches
  • Corrects harmful oral habits
  • Increases stability of final treatment results

Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment because it involves full braces when all the permanent teeth are erupted. This usually takes place between the ages of 11 and 13. This is a good age, because at this time the permanent teeth have erupted and any corrections that need to be made can be identified. The growth spurt and high metabolism of children at this age also makes it the ideal time to shape a child’s teeth and mouth.

Phase II treatments include traditional and other types of braces to shift teeth into a better position. The average period a patient is required to wear braces is 12 to 18 months. After braces, patients may also be required to wear a retainer for a period of time after the initial treatment. Phase II treatments aim to correct crooked teeth, gaps, bad bites and more.

The use of Phase I treatment before any Phase II treatment can simplify, shorten or eliminate the need for Phase II treatments.

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