Here at Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates, we believe early orthodontic care can enormously benefit oral health later in your child’s life. Our orthodontists, Dr. Giarrusso and Dr. Livanos, are passionate about helping children be a step ahead of getting the smile they deserve. We are here for your needs and want to share with you what treatment options are used during two-phase treatment to provide easier care later in life.
The Value of Early Orthodontic Care
Early orthodontic care holds value for children who are experiencing complications with their teeth that affect their everyday lives. It gives us a chance to understand where your child is currently at with their oral health and allows us to see where we can step in to help. Our team is able to use non-invasive treatment options over a longer period of time while still achieving straight teeth. Not every child needs two-phase treatment, but a preliminary appointment to determine whether it will be beneficial or not can make future treatment much easier.
Beginning with diagnosing what issues are present, phase one allows for an early interception to avoid severe issues and solve current ones to allow permanent teeth to grow in successfully. Typically beginning between the ages of seven and 11 (before permanent teeth grow in), our practice can help to clear the path of oral obstacles. Lasting between nine to 12 months, the earlier they start, the better.
Available Treatment Paths For Phase One
Common phase one issues children experience are bite complications, crowded teeth, and prematurely losing baby teeth. Your child may need more than one appliance to best prepare their teeth for the next phase.
At a young age, children’s jaws are still growing and are able to be altered without invasive procedures. When not wide enough, they can cause teeth to crowd and create issues down the line, but that is where a palate expander comes in. Made of two metal parts, they are connected by a screw and positioned on the top back teeth. Dr. Giarrusso or Dr. Livanos will provide a key that is used to push the two metal plates a little further apart each day, allowing your palatal bones to adjust to the pressure over a long period of time.
Used when baby teeth are lost too soon, space maintainers do the work of literally maintaining the empty space to avoid other teeth crowding into the area. The longer it is left empty, the more work will be necessary to realign the other teeth to their original position. This custom-made appliance attaches to the adjacent tooth, creating a non-mergeable gap with a rectangular attachment.
Targeting a specific area of misaligned teeth, partial braces are used to properly space crowded teeth and tackle early bite problems. It ensures the permanent ones growing in have the right amount of space without crowding further. The braces apply slight, constant pressure to shift the teeth into their proper position.
Once phase one has successfully finished, Dr. Giarrusso or Dr. Livanos will continue to monitor the progress of your child’s teeth through 6-month check-ins by physical examinations and x-rays. They may be given a retainer to maintain the progress of phase one, but no additional appliances will be necessary in order to allow permanent teeth to finish growing.
Once their last permanent tooth has grown in, phase two of your child’s treatment can begin. Commonly referred to as braces treatment, both the entire upper and lower teeth will be treated at the same time by working off the base phase one provided to straighten out any other issues. Our team works on the best alignment and provides the smile your child deserves!
Available Treatment Paths For Phase Two
Depending on the kind of work that needs to be done during phase two, our team will suggest the kind of braces or aligners that will work best. One of the benefits of working with us through phase one is we get to know your child’s teeth very well and can find the treatment option that will best suit their teeth and goals.
A modern approach to straightening out a smile, Invisalign offers our patients a nearly invisible alternative to traditional braces. A popular option among teenagers and adults alike, our orthodontists will provide your child with multiple sets of retainers worn all day that are only taken out for meals. They slowly alter the placement of their teeth over the course of one to two years.
Made out of ceramic, clear braces allow for the clear look of Invisalign while working with the quicker treatment time metal braces provide. They work the same way metal braces do and offer controlled teeth movement while still blending into your child’s smile. If this sounds like a great middle-ground for their goals, clear braces may just work best for your child!
The most traditional braces option affiliated with orthodontics, metal braces are still a very popular option for patients to choose from. They are known to be the most effective option and are able to fix just about any oral issue. As orthodontics has advanced, so have metal braces, becoming more comfortable and durable, allowing for the best results possible.
Remember To Be On The Lookout For Issues Early
At Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates, our team believes the earlier necessary treatment begins, the better! Being cognizant of the oral issues that call for phase one treatment can help your child avoid more complex and invasive procedures down the line. If you notice your child having issues with any of the following common dilemmas, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
- Over-crowded teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Prolonged pacifier use
- Prematurely losing baby teeth
- Issues with biting and chewing
We want your child to have an easy experience and will do what we can to provide the best treatment possible to speak to their needs!
Start Your Child’s Two-Phase Treatment Today!
Our Central Mass Orthodontics team is here to ensure your child’s needs are addressed and that they have the opportunity to get the best treatment we have to offer. The benefits of two-phase treatment are within reach! Our team at the Worcester, Spencer, or Auburn offices will be happy to help you schedule an appointment so Dr. Giarrusso or Dr. Livanos can determine the best next steps.