Schatz Orthodontics of San Antonio, TX is an orthodontic office which uses the two phase treatment method (among other available methods) for aligning a child’s teeth. Dr. Eric Schatz is a San Antonio orthodontist to visit for this procedure.
Orthodontic work involves straightening a child’s teeth for a more effective bite, as well as a more confident smile and appearance. Having straighter teeth also prevents plaque buildup and cavities that can result from twisted or crooked teeth. Traditional orthodontics involve installing braces on a preadolescent or adolescent child. The two phase treatment method starts at a young age. Therefore, to be a candidate, a child should be screened for orthodontic work at as young as age 4, but no older than age 7. The reason for the installation of braces at a younger age is that phase one begins when the child is 80% finished with facial growth. When commenced at this time, phase one can aid the last leg of facial growth. When phase two of the process begins, a child is 11 or 12, and 90% of their facial growth is completed.
The full process involves phase one, a “resting phase,” and phase two. After a child has been screened, and deemed a candidate for two phase treatment, phase one braces are placed on a child’s teeth. The child must be between the ages of 7 and 9; many of their primary teeth will still be present. After the phase one braces have been in place for one to two years, they are removed and replaced with a retainer. The retainer stays in place for what is called the “resting phase.” This lasts around three years. Regular orthodontic appointments, and occasional x-rays, are necessary during this period to monitor the retainer’s progress. The second phase involves a second set of braces, after the final primary tooth has fallen out. In all, the two phase treatment lasts typically five years.
As with all orthodontic treatments, two phase treatment appliances are durable – but only to a certain point! Especially with the younger age of the patient during phase one, the child’s parent or guardian should ensure that hard foods and candies that can break the appliances are avoided. Ensuring that the child brushes carefully around the braces to prevent tooth discoloration from plaque buildup is also critical.
Other orthodontic procedures available at Schatz Orthodontics are regular braces for children and adults, clear braces, Invisalign – both regular and teen, self-ligating brackets, and treatments combining braces and surgery.