Pre-Orthodontic Treatment

Treating The Cause of Crooked Teeth

The majority of children have crooked teeth. As a matter of fact, crooked teeth are apparent from three to five years of age. Generally, traditional orthodontic practices are to wait until all adult teeth have erupted before addressing teeth overcrowding. Teeth straightening options, such as traditional braces do not address the cause of overcrowded teeth. Even worse, teenagers may need teeth extracted to make room to move the remaining teeth.

Teeth do not become crooked by happenstance. Crowded teeth are a sign that there is not enough room in the upper and lower jaw for permanent teeth to fit. Often, a child’s crooked teeth are disregarded as genetic, or too big.

Modern research has shown that mouth breathing results in an underdeveloped upper jaw and restricted forward growth of the lower jaw. An underdeveloped upper jaw can restrict a child’s airway. Mouth breathing is one of the primary contributors to Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) problems.

Our Carrollton dentist, Dr. Dillard has non-invasive solutions for children to promote good jaw development and straighten teeth the natural way. The Myobrace™ system treats the cause of crooked teeth, without braces.

The causes of crooked teeth or incorrect jaw development are known as incorrect myofunctional habits. In fact, these signs may be the real causes of malocclusion or misaligned teeth and weak craniofacial growth. Some of the causes of crooked teeth include:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Incorrect tongue positioning
  • Reverse swallowing
  • Thumb sucking

Causes of Crooked Teeth

Normal Jaw Development

Mouth Breathing

If your child is a mouth breather, their tongue will not rest in the roof of their mouth. Therefore, their mouth will remain open. Mouth breathing will cause the muscles of your child’s jaw and face to restrict proper forward growth. In turn, forcing your child’s jaw backward and down, resulting in narrow jaws and an underdeveloped face.

Tongue Positioning

The tongue determines the shape and size of the upper jaw. The appropriate resting position for the tongue is the roof of your mouth. If your child habitually has a low tongue position, they will breathe through the mouth. Consequently, the upper jaw will become too narrow and not have enough space for teeth to erupt. The lower jaw will be forced downward and back. As a result, facial growth will be affected.

Tongue Thrust

Reverse swallowing or tongue thrust is a common symptom of oral myofunctional disorder. Tongue thrust is a muscle form where the tongue protrudes during swallowing, and the lips push back. Therefore, the front teeth will be forced backward causing crowded teeth and a misaligned jaw. There should not be any movement of the bottom lip when swallowing. Often, tongue thrusts are associated with a speech problem. 

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is popular among babies to help them feel comfortable and secure. However, thumb sucking may cause growth and development issues with your child’s jaw. Eventually, this can effect the shape of your child’s face. Early intervention may eliminate future orthodontic issues.

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