Re: How do I know I am ready to start Phase II (braces)?
I'm not sure there really is a set guideline for when Phase I ends and Phase II starts.
For me, it was when my facial and neck muscles stopped spasming and my bite naturally fell into the "correct" positioning. My TMJ Orthodontist did a repeat 3D CT ConeBeam scan at that point as well to check on the positioning of my TMJ before discussing phase II options.
I actually kept my lower repositioning splint with my upper braces until my upper arch was into position before ditching it for the lower braces. For me, this took about 11 months. Throughout the process, my dentist cut back my lower splint a molar at a time so I could start wearing brackets and elastics to erupt my back molars to help with my bite.
One caution about the move from Phase I to Phase II: you will go through a period of transition and may have some of your TMJD symptoms temporarily return. I know I found that to be the case when I moved to full braces.
Good luck with your transition and treatment.
Asthma, Allergies, severe LPR/GERD, Anemia, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement--both shoulders, Benign Joint Hypermobility, possible Ehlers Danlos Syndrome