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Why does my child need braces twice?

August 19, 2014

I am asked this question quite frequently from parents along with “why are children getting braces at such a young age?”

Interceptive orthodontics is broken into 2 phases of treatment

Phase 1 consists of braces for approximately 12 to 18 months between the ages of 7-9. The primary goals include habit correction (ex: thumb sucking) and bite correction (ex: underbite, crossbite), while making room for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt.

Phase 2 consists of braces for approximately 12 to 18 months between the ages of 11-14. The primary goals of this phase are to perfect the equilibrium of the teeth and to ensure the end result of a perfect smile.

The above goals may be accomplished in one comprehensive phase of orthodontics, however the benefits of 2 phases of treatment are:
1.) Extractions can be prevented
2.) Growth abnormalities can be prevented or intercepted
3.) Patients experience less fatigue with braces which means better oral hygiene and compliance
4.) On occasion, there are patients who complete Phase 1 of treatment and Phase 2 is not needed due to all of the permanent teeth erupting in an adequate manner.

Only an orthodontist can determine the appropriate time for patients to begin treatment and the number of phases that are needed. According to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), all children should be evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of 7, even if treatment is not necessary at that time.

I hope that this clears up some of the confusion regarding Two-Phase treatment plans. For a more information regarding Two-Phase treatment visit

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