Archive for April 2015

One Phase, or Two?

One Phase, or Two?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is just that; two phases of treatment that are separate and distinct. If your child has bite or jaw problems, two-phase treatment allows that to be addressed in order to reduce dental issues they may later experience.

Our orthodontist will sometimes recommend two-phase treatment to improve how well the second phase of orthodontic treatment works, and to essentially help make room for permanent teeth. Two-phase orthodontic treatment overall helps to position teeth and the jaw for a more attractive profile. As always, we recommend bringing your child in at the age of approximately seven so that we can determine if early treatment would be necessary.

Phase-One

Phase-One orthodontic treatment is also known as early treatment. Your child will have their first orthodontic exam, and, if deemed necessary, Phase-one treatment will begin shortly thereafter. The primary goal of Phase-One orthodontic treatment is to ensure enough room for permanent teeth, which will reduce the risk of overcrowding, which inevitably leads to crooked teeth. Phase-One treats bite growth and the jaw, including issues such as crossbite or underbite. And it’s important to have the conversation with our orthodontist about Phase-One treatment reducing the need for extractions later.

Phase-Two

Phase-Two orthodontic treatment is what most of us are familiar with. Phase-Two occurs when braces are placed on the upper and/or lower teeth. Not only does this phase correct spaces and ameliorate misaligned teeth, but it also corrects overbite or underbite concerns. Phase-Two typically begins around the age of 11 or 12. This phase of orthodontic treatment usually lasts an average of two to three years, but, as always, each case is different, depending on the individual. Some children may need braces for up to four years, while others have fewer issues and may need to wear them only a year or so.

Signs of Needing Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment

Any of the following signs may indicate your child is a good candidate for Two-Phase treatment:

  • Losing baby teeth early (before age 5)
  • Biting or chewing problems
  • Thumb-sucking after age 5
  • If the teeth don’t come together properly when opening, or any evidence of crossbite
  • If teeth become crowded at age 7 or 8
  • Protruding upper or lower teeth

Again, not all children will need Two-Phase orthodontic treatment. Schedule a complimentary consultation with our orthodontist to discuss if your child is showing any of the above signs. We will create an orthodontic treatment plan that will make your smile its very brightest!

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April is National Facial Protection Month!

April is National Facial Protection Month!

Our orthodontist and team advocate for proper facial protection, especially when participating in any sports activities. This protection is essential, particularly during orthodontic treatment. We want you to achieve your ideal smile in the most efficient manner possible, and an injury to your mouth can certainly be an obstacle.

Full Facial Guards

Full facial guards offer protection to your mouth from most injuries. These are often used in football, which makes a lot of sense! But even if your face is protected from outside impact, you still may be vulnerable to damage to your braces and cuts to your mouth from internal impact. So additional mouth protection may be a good idea to consider.

Mouthguards

Also called boil-and-bites, this type of mouth protection can be purchased at various retail stores. These guards are boiled in water to soften the material. The guard is placed in your mouth while still warm, and the impression is formed by biting down gently. Although these guards form to the shape of your mouth, they do not necessarily offer the best protection or fit.  Custom mouthguards are much better because you are ensured a comfortable fit and better protection. They are also built in layers for durability. The American Dental Association endorses custom mouthguards for orthodontic patients because they are designed to provide the appropriate protection for your mouth and your braces.

We suggest mouthguards to protect your mouth and your braces, no matter which sport you participate in. Even slower-paced sports come with the possibilities of injuries. According to the academy for Sports Dentistry, a properly fitted mouthguard should never interfere with any sports activity. We are pleased to bring awareness during National Facial Protection Month, and we want the dialogue to continue all year long!

Please give our office a call today with any inquiries regarding facial protection. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and there is no reason you cannot enjoy your favorite activities. If you do suffer an injury to your mouth or braces during your orthodontic treatment, please contact us immediately. The sooner we are able to ameliorate your situation, the quicker you get back in the game!

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