DHCS General Dental

Early intervention can influence the growth and development of a child’s smile, facial profile and, most importantly, health. To reduce potential treatment time in future and reduce the need for tooth extractions, it is recommended that children be assessed at our practice by age 6. This is the best time to start dentofacial orthopaedics to start correcting jaw bone discrepancies and growth deficiencies.

Dentofacial orthopaedics allows us to :

  • expand the length and width of the upper and lower dental arches
  • gain space for permanent teeth
  • widen smiles
  • improve facial profiles
  • reduce the likelihood of impacted teeth
  • correct soft tissue habits eg. thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting
  • reduce the risk of breathing related health problems eg. sleep apnoea

WHAT CAUSES GROWTH DEFICIENCIES AND CROOKED TEETH?

We swallow about 2000 times a day. Each time we swallow the tongue pushes up against the roof of the mouth. During our development the top jaw growth is guided by the shape of the tongue and the pressure it exerts during swallowing. When the mouth is at rest, the tongue normally sits up near the roof of the mouth with the tip just behind the top front teeth.

When the mouth is open, the tongue cannot rest in the roof of the mouth, hence a narrow v-shaped jaw develops. A smaller top jaw leads to tooth crowding. Because the lower jaw basically follows the development of the top jaw, there will be resultant tooth crowding in the lower jaw as well.

Individuals who breathe through their mouths have a lower tongue posture and thus develop smaller jaws due to reduced stimulation from the tongue.

Many mouth breathers do not sleep well at night due to obstructed airways. This lack of sleep can adversely affect their growth and academic performance. Many of these children are misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity.

 

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