Children, Dentists and Facial Growth
Surely you are wondering what children, dentists, and facial growth have to do with each other? In this article our goal is to provide a possible answer – and solution- to “poor facial growth”.
Our children’s faces grow quickly. When a child reaches the age of 5, his/her face is around 70% fully grown. At age 12 most children have fully developed faces. This is a short window that we have for recognizing and finding solutions for poor facial growth.
Due to the huge difference in how we eat from just 100 years ago, children are much more susceptible to problems with facial development than ever. Where we used to be raised on traditional home grown and local foods, free from sugars, additives and other junk, today’s kid’s diets can be overwhelmingly soft, processed foods full of chemical and other products. Instead of mother’s breast milk, often children begin their life on a bottled formula.
It is easy to see how our ancestors who ate traditional foods, from the garden and the hoof, and were breastfed, grew to have splendid facial form with broad dental arches and free of cavities.
This one huge difference in diet has greatly affected facial growth and a large range of facial features. Dentists might see children with no cavities but rarely see a child with good facial form. According to research, it is actually more common to see children with crooked or crowded teeth and other issues that can have long range effects on children then not.
We define good facial form as having the following characteristics:
- Attractive Face
- Proper Airway (no sleeping issues etc.)
- Straight teeth
- Balanced jaw Joints
We define poor facial form as having the following characteristics:
- Less attractive face (long, lower jaw behind upper or lower jaw ahead of upper jaw)
- Breathing issues (snoring, restless sleeper, nightmares, bed wetting, asthma, allergies, ENT problems)
- Crooked or Crowded teeth
- Clicking jaws or Teeth grinding
In a perfect world, we would want to spot these issues before they develop.
Thankfully, there are signs and symptoms we can look for:
- Unusual or recurring illnesses such as ear, nose and throat issues.
- Sleep apnea
Other conditions to look for are low or ultra-high energy levels or attention spans and bed wetting.
And even though some of the above conditions are commonly found in kids, these may also be warning signs that our children are not experiencing normal growth patterns in their teeth or jaws that would surely lead to more serious issues later in life.
Dentist are in a unique position to identify the signs, symptoms, and risk factors for facial growth conditions. Choosing a dentist with the necessary training to detect issues could greatly impact your life.
Call Dr. Abeyta’s office today at (505) 293-7611, or Contact us by email, to learn more.