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Adolescents Treatment

Between the ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time for orthodontic treatment, and for good reasons. By 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps and bad bites can easily be detected. These problems will hardly ever correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.

This is also a good time for orthodontic treatment because many negative associations of braces are not present. Many children in this age range undergo orthodontic treatment, and children are very often able to be convinced to wear braces because they see their friends wearing them, too, and want to fit in.

Besides the benefits of fitting in with their friends, children at this age are growing rapidly, and orthodontists can usually take advantage of these growth spurts to help shape the bite and teeth correctly. And children at this age have high metabolisms, which can help shorten overall treatment time and reduce the discomfort of orthodontic treatment.

Two-Phase Treatment

Phase I

When a child is seen at an earlier age, many things can be accomplished! Extraction of permanent teeth can be avoided in the vast majority of cases. Skeletal (jaw) problems need to be addressed early in development in order to obtain the best result. This allows us to achieve an excellent profile, avoiding a flattened profile and thinning lips. Not all patients require Phase I treatment. Phase I treatment lasts approximately 12-15 months after which there is a “resting” phase. During this time, the child is monitored for facial development and permanent tooth eruption approximately every 4-6 months. When all of the permanent teeth are just about erupted, Phase II begins.

Phase II

Phase II consists of placing braces on all permanent teeth. Two-phase orthodontics is planned to obtain the best possible treatment results. Phase II treatment may last approximately 12-20 months and is designed to create the most aesthetic and functional occlusion (bite). Phase II treatment should not be considered doing orthodontics again, rather a continuation and finish to the earlier accomplishments.