Phase 1 – Early Treatment
Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth
Early treatment (also known as phase one) typically begins around age eight or nine (phase two will begin around age 11 or older). The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.
The goal of phase one treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age six are found to have haw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.
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How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:
Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 13.)
– Difficulty chewing and/or biting
– Mouth breathing
– Your child continues sucking their thumb after age five
– Speech impediments
– Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth
– Extend away from each other)
– Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
– Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes
– Their mouth (crossbites)
– Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
What causes orthodontic problems, and how will early prevention benefit my child?
Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb sucking habits.
Most children have lost all their baby teeth by age 13 and by the end of their teen years the jaw bones will harden and no longer continue to grow. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve extraction and the possibility of oral surgery. As a child, receiving early orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for PHASE TOW TREATMENT as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future. If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team at Ragan Orthodontics will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile.
Phase 2 – Treatment
A Healthy and Beautiful Smile
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.
Movement & Retention
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plans established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually, requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.
Metal Braces are a very popular choice for tweens and teens! They love choosing rubber band colors and changing them each time they have an appointment. Metal braces will give you a beautiful smile in an efficient timeframe at an affordable cost.
How Metal Braces Work
Before applying the brackets, Dr. Ragan and our team will collect photos and x-rays of your mouth, usually during your consultation. Sometimes we’ll use our iTero Scanner to scan each of our teeth and get a 3D look at your mouth and gums.
Once the scans and records are complete, the data will be used to help formulate a customized treatment plan, including how each tooth needs to be moved in order to get it in the next possible positon. Dr. Ragan will then decide how to place the brackets based on this information. If you need a tooth to be tilted, the positioning of those brackets will be different than the positioning of brackets for teeth that need to be turned for example.
After the brackets have been attached, the wire will be inserted. Bens in the wire are used to provide difficult types of pressure on different teeth. A bend in the wire is how Dr. Ragan encourage specific and precise movements.
This process is only to occur if constant pressure is put on the tooth. As bone is absorbed on one side and then deposited on the other side, the tooth can move. Once the pressure stops-like when Dr. Ragan moves your braces- the tooth will begin to settle into its new position.
Most teeth start to move back to their old positions over time. This is why Dr. Ragan will give you a retainer or clear aligner after your braces are taken off. When worn as directed, a retainer and aligners will keep teeth in their improved positions and prevent natural drifting of the teeth.
Every mouth is different, and every patient responds to treatments in their own time and way, so it varies case by case. The average time spend in metal braces tends to be around 18-22 months.
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