Crooked Teeth and Malocclusion in Children

What most dentists don’t tell you – orthodontic treatments are actually avoidable!

Give your children a chance to avoid braces, teach them how to nasal breathe!

how to avoid orthodontic treatmentIt’s not uncommon to see children wearing braces or having other orthodontics work nowadays, and I am sure having orthodontic treatment is not a pleasant experience at all; as any children who are currently wearing braces, or people who have had similar experience, would tell you.

I still remember back in elementary school, I had a cousin of the same age who needed to wear one of those external braces for a couple weeks before switching to fixed braces. During those weeks with the external braces, he was often mocked by other kids as Frankenstein or of similar character. He became irascible, and ashamed; not surprisingly, he started to become isolated. Luckily, after the external braces were removed, his personality also gradually returned to normal, and was able to re-join the other kids again.

Despite the nuisance and unpleasant aesthetic during orthodontic treatment with oral appliances, the high cost (easily in the thousands) of a treatment is what often overwhelmed the parents. We all want to have a perfect set of teeth and a normal facial, jaw development; naturally, right?

You probably think that whether or not a child need orthodontic works was determined at the very moment when they were born, by the genetics; if so, you are most likely wrong. Well, it is actually a good news that you are wrong in this case though, right? While genetics do determine to some extend of our teeth and jaw development, many of the crooked teeth and malocclusion are actually caused by our breathing behaviour as we were growing up.

If you child grows up with the correct breathing habit, then most likely he or she will develop a beautiful set of teeth and jaw, without the need to suffer through braces or other orthodontic treatment. In addition, your child will also be healthier and unlikely to experience other breathing problems.

It is never too late to start switching to a correct breathing habit if your child is a chronic mouth breather; however, while our jaw continues to development throughout teenage, our permanent teeth development start as early as age 5 years, and is mostly complete just before teen (with the exception of third molar, the wisdom teeth). Therefore, the earlier your child adopts the correct breathing habit, the less likely he or she would need orthodontic treatment. For example, The American Association of Orthodontists suggests children to be screened by age 7 for orthodontic treatment assessment.

IDEO CLIP: Morning Blend’s interview with Dr. Kandula

VIDEO CLIP: Dr. Flutter’s presentation on cause of Crooked Teeth and Malocclusion