We continue to develop the regularity theory of general two-phase free boundary problems for parabolic operators. In a 2010 paper, we establish the optimal (Lipschitz) regularity of a viscosity solution under the assumptions that the free boundary is locally a flat Lipschitz graph and a nondegeneracy condition holds. Here, on one side we improve this result by removing the nondegeneracy assumption; on the other side we prove the smoothness of the front. The proof relies in a crucial way on a local stability result stating that, for a certain class of operators, under small perturbations of the coefficients flat free boundaries remain close and flat. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.