Two-Phase Treatment Process

Dr. Demas with a patient

The phrase “timing is everything” is popular for a reason! It’s applicable in many situations, particularly when it comes to parenting, and that includes planning orthodontic treatment for your child. Trying to determine if, when, and what kind of help your child may need with their smile can be a little overwhelming. There’s so much information available that it’s easy to get confused by differing opinions from various sources, but Team Demas Orthodontics is here to help! Exploring the ins and outs of orthodontics doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Our team is committed to providing clear, concise information you can understand about what a long-term plan for your child’s orthodontic care might look like.

The first step towards a straighter, healthier smile should always be an initial orthodontic evaluation. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have their first orthodontic consultation by around the age of seven, and we agree. This gives an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Demas the chance to look for and diagnose many common dental issues before they become more problematic. This kind of early intervention can often reduce the need for more intensive orthodontic treatment at a later age.

The idea of being proactive with your child’s oral health instead of reactive can be summed up by the process of two-phase treatment. This is a specialized service we offer for younger patients we anticipate needing orthodontics as they grow. Let’s take a closer look at what this treatment entails, and how it can be of benefit to your child’s smile and overall oral health!

What is two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase treatment is a process whereby a child will receive orthodontic treatment at two separate times, with a break in between. Generally, we will initiate the first phase of treatment when the child has a mix of primary and permanent teeth. This will be followed by a period of rest before the second phase begins, usually once the child has most or all of their adult teeth. Although braces or other orthodontic appliances are sometimes used during the first phase, they are much more common in the second phase of treatment. This will depend on the specifics of each individual case.

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is often recommended when we want to:

  • create an optimal relationship between the teeth and jaws
  • align the teeth, resulting in a straighter smile
  • position the teeth and jaws for more pleasing facial symmetry
  • create a better environment for the permanent teeth to grow in

Once Dr. Demas has completed a thorough examination of your child’s mouth, the first phase of treatment may be suggested if it appears that:

  • he or she will be prone to a particular problem that we want to keep from developing (preventive treatment)
  • he or she already has a developing problem that we want to intercept (interceptive treatment)
  • your child’s jaw bones will need a little guidance as they grow (growth modification)

Team Demas working with a patient

For the most successful results, we will time the first phase of orthodontic treatment to take advantage of the predictable stages in dental development. When we follow the patterns of normal childhood growth and development, we have the best chance of improving and correcting orthodontic issues early on. This is important, because many common dental problems can be treated relatively easily in a growing child, but as they get older and the jaw bones stop growing, these same issues may require more invasive treatment to correct.

While early treatment can achieve lasting results for many of these issues and lessen the impact of others, most patients will still require a second phase of treatment to complete the alignment process the first phase has begun.

How does two-phase treatment work?

In order to understand how two-phase treatment can benefit your child, it’s important to know how each phase works, as well as what happens during the resting period in between them.

Phase One

Phase one treatment helps develop a child’s jaw to better accommodate all the permanent teeth, as well as improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. This method of treatment has a number of benefits. It not only improves the ability to bite, chew, or even digest food more effectively, but may also reduce the risk of damaged teeth due to crowding, misalignment, or malformed jaws.

Phase one treatment helps to contribute to longer-term stability, which simply means that the teeth will stay in whatever position Dr. Demas guides them to. The second phase of treatment continues this stabilization by moving the teeth into their final desired positions. However, we generally hit the pause button on treatment in between the first and second phases. This is a period of time when the permanent teeth are emerging, and we like to give the teeth, jaws, and mouth a temporary break as they grow.

Resting Period

Once we successfully complete first phase treatment, there should be enough room to give the remaining permanent teeth a clear path to eruption. Teeth that have already been moved will be stabilized with either a space maintainer or fixed retainer.

Phase Two

This is where it all comes together! This phase will usually begin once all of your child’s permanent teeth have erupted. Braces or clear aligners will almost always need to be used for a time. Once that part of treatment is complete, fixed bonded retainers will be necessary to ensure their smile stays in place! 

Dr. Demas working with a patient

Two-phase treatment with Team Demas Orthodontics

Here at Team Demas Orthodontics, we believe treatment should never take a “one size fits all” approach! Smiles are not created equally, and what works for one child may not work for another. That’s why Dr. Demas is dedicated to designing a unique treatment plan for every patient we see. If you’re in Southington or the surrounding communities, and want to learn more about how two-phase orthodontic treatment could improve your child’s oral health, get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation. This is the perfect time to take the first steps towards a bright, beautiful, and healthy smile for your child!

What Does an Ideal Bite Look Like?

Woman smiling wearing necklace

People are often referred to the orthodontist because of an improper bite. While this is one of the main oral health conditions that orthodontics is designed to fix, you may be surprised to know that an imperfect bite can be used to describe several different types of conditions. For instance, you may have heard of overbites, which give people prominent front teeth. Alternatively, you may have noticed that your teeth seem all over the place, and certain teeth may even hit the others too hard when you chew. When you wonder what should a perfect teeth look like, you can learn the answers to your questions in this guide.

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Seven Tips to Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

Teeth and toothbrush

When you or your child get braces put on your teeth, your normal routine is altered slightly and you have to relearn how to do things that used to be simple everyday activities for you. Performing tasks such as eating any food you desire, talking without having metal braces in the way and especially brushing your teeth are instantly more challenging, but easy to overcome if you have a few tips in the bag.

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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Hawley Retainer?

Girl wearing blue jacket
pixabay.com

Getting to the stage where you graduate from wearing braces to finally putting on a retainer is exciting since it signifies progress. As such, here is what you should know about retainers.

A retainer is used to hold your teeth in place once braces come off. Since it takes close to a year for your periodontal ligaments to cement fully into their new positions, it is imperative that you follow your orthodontist’s instructions to the letter regarding retainer usage. Disregarding your orthodontist’s directions could see the gaps opening up again or your teeth shifting and getting crooked once more.

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Can You Still Maintain a Healthy Diet While Using Invisalign?

foodLAST UPDATED: APRIL 24, 2018

There are many reasons why Invisalign has risen rapidly in popularity over the last 15 years. The technology of clear aligner treatment allows you to go about your day without worrying about your appearance: no more metal standing between the world and your smile! Invisalign has been popularized by celebrities like Zac Efron, Eva Longoria, and Tom Cruise; no wonder Invisalign is now one of the most popular orthodontic treatments in Southington.

Of course, the Invisalign system requires discipline, good habits, and some minor lifestyle changes. For best results, Invisalign requires that the user keeps the aligners in place between 20-22 hours per day. As such, that leaves between 2-4 hours each day for eating, drinking, and maintaining proper oral hygiene through brushing and flossing.

The most common concern I hear from potential Invisalign patients is this:

FAQ

How can I maintain a healthy diet if I’m only allowed 2-4 hours per day to eat? Am I going to starve?!?

Here’s the good news: You can maintain a healthy diet while using Invisalign. When I encounter patients concerned about whether they will have to dramatically change their eating habits, I encourage them to keep a diet journal for at least a week. You’ll find that the actual time you spend eating, drinking, and cleaning your teeth adds up to around two hours. (Of course, this depends on your snacking habits. But won’t cutting down on lengthy snacking sessions improve your diet?)

Here is the schedule that I recommend for Invisalign patients:

  • Morning brushing and flossing: 5 minutes
  • Breakfast: 20 minutes
  • Snack: 10 minutes
  • Lunch: 30 minutes
  • Snack: 10 minutes
  • Dinner: 50 minutes
  • Night brushing and flossing: 5 minutes

Add that all up and you’ll come to 130 minutes, or just over two hours. Keep in mind that those times don’t take into account meal preparation, but there’s no need to take out your aligners when you’re putting together your sandwich for lunch, is there? Every patient is different with varying dietary needs, but I recommend giving this schedule a time and seeing if you can comfortably finish your meals within this framework.

Keeping Your Teeth Clean with Invisalign

As always, it’s very important to maintain good oral hygiene when using Invisalign. In a perfect world, patients would brush and floss thoroughly each time after eating. I recognize that my patients often have busy schedules or don’t have access to running water at school or work. At the bare minimum, you should brush and floss thoroughly twice each day: once in the morning and once before bed. However, to keep up your oral hygiene throughout the day and prevent trapped food particles, I recommend rinsing with warm water or mouthwash after eating and before putting in your aligners.

 

 

 

 

 

Invisalign is a significant investment in your orthodontic health, physical appearance, and general well-being. If you’re going through the work of keeping your aligners in for over 20 hours each day, why risk the possibility of other issues with poor oral hygiene?

Tried-and-True Patient Advice for a Healthy Invisalign Diet

This is a collection of advice from my patients who have used Invisalign and experienced the lifestyle changes demanded by clear aligner treatment. These four tips should be a great help to anyone considering Invisalign:

  • Don’t Panic: You can do it! Keep in mind that many, before you, have gone through the Invisalign process and survived the dietary and lifestyle changes. There may be days where you have your aligners out for over 20 hours, and while it’s not ideal, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t beat yourself up about bad days, and stay positive. Rely on your friends and family for encouragement and you’ll see how easy it is after a few days to stick to your new diet requirements.
  • Set a Schedule: Before Invisalign, many patients snacked throughout the day and ate less during meals. Unfortunately, this isn’t a possibility with Invisalign. We are creatures of habit, and it can be difficult to break our eating patterns when changing to a new diet. Many of my successful patients recommend sticking to a daily schedule for meals and snacks. After a few days, your body will get used to this schedule and start to expect breakfast at 8:30, lunch at noon, and a snack at 3:00. Settling into a routine will help reduce cravings and hunger pangs throughout the day.
  • Plan Your Meals: Since you’ll be fitting a day’s worth of calories and nutritional needs into three meals and two snacks, you’ll need to strategize to cover your bases. Go into each day knowing when you’ll get your protein, where you’ll find your Vitamin C, and how many calories you’re taking in with each meal. Budgeting calories and nutrients are the best way to prevent hunger and malnourishment.
  • Don’t Overcompensate: A typical reaction to the Invisalign 20-hour requirement is to shovel in as much food as possible during your allotted eating time. As tempting as it may be, this habit will only leave you feeling sick. Here is where your discipline comes into play: once you’ve planned out your daily meals and snacks, stick to the plan! If you’ve planned out your calories, you know that you’re eating enough throughout the day to feel full and healthy. Resist the temptation to overeat and your body will thank you!

Think You Can Handle It?

If you think you can master the “Invisalign Diet” and maintain healthy eating and cleaning habits while using clear aligners, contact us today. Team Demas Orthodontics is the top team for Southington Invisalign, and we recommend clear aligner treatment for its comfort, flexibility, and effectiveness. Contact us by phone or through our online location form; we’ll be happy to answer any patient question!

 

Team Demas Orthodontics

27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Phone: 860-276-0333

Does [Age Matter] When Getting Braces?

Father and Son

When thinking about braces, we tend to think of a teenager who has a mouth full of brackets and wires when smiling. But the truth is that people of all ages wear braces which causes some questions to be asked. Is it important for someone to wear braces when they are young? Are there complications for an older person who wants to get braces? Is there a specific age for taking up braces? What is the best age for getting braces? Does age affect the success of braces? Am I too old to get braces? These are valid questions to be asked, and we are going to shed more light on this topic. 

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How Do I Fix My Flared Teeth [After] Braces?

Orthodontic treatment, such as braces, is an effective way to achieve straight teeth and a healthy smile. When an individual’s teeth are overcrowded, it can cause a wide range of problems including difficulty talking and eating. Although many individuals feel that braces can treat crooked teeth in a few months, the process takes much longer. Aside from braces, individuals may also need retainers or other orthodontic appliances.  

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What Happens to Your Lips When You Get Braces to Fix Your Overbite?

If you have an overbite, it can be really frustrating. While a minor overbite might not be much of a concern and can even be attractive if it creates a cute pout, a major overbite can make you extremely self-conscious. You can’t correct this kind of a problem with your teeth on your own. If you are thinking about fixing overbite issues, an orthodontic treatment is a solution. While you are open to the idea of seeking professional help from braces fixing overbite problems, you might wonder what will happen to your lips when you get braces. You can see the effect of your overbite on lips, pushing them out further. You would want to be prepared for the change after an orthodontic treatment.

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Will braces fix my weak chin? If not, what will?

Today’s orthodontic specialists use cutting-edge oral health science to tailor each patient’s treatment to their individual needs. Some patients may seek treatment to fix an overbite or an underbite.
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How to Fix Minor Overcrowding Teeth without Braces or Invisalign

A nice smile has an impact on how people perceive you as well as how you perceive yourself. While braces seem to be almost a rite of passage for teens and even some adults, they are not necessarily required for all overcrowded teeth. You may not realize that fixing overcrowding teeth can be accomplished without braces.

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