Have you been told your child’s teeth are too big for their mouth? How about “your child has too many teeth for their mouth” or “your child has dad’s teeth and mom’s jaws”. These types of comments are commonly used by both lay people and professionals to explain obviously crowded and crooked teeth. The problem is easy to see, right? The next question is “what should be done to solve this problem?” Logically two main approaches present themselves:
1) Too many teeth….remove some
2) too little mouth….make it bigger
The next question is “which is right for my child?” The answer to that question requires evaluation by a dentist trained in orthodontics and dental orthopedics. Keep in mind that there is not a consensus among dentists as to how a particular problem should be treated or what the underlying causes may be. My view is that most children are not born with a genetic predisposition to develop crowded and crooked teeth or jaw growth deficiencies regardless of their family heritage. The causes of these problems arise in the very early years of development and when left untreated until the teenage years result in crowded teeth, upper and lower jaw bone discrepancies, loss of permanent teeth and less attractive faces. Improper breathing, lip posture and tongue function are believed to be the underlying causes of 90% of malocclusions in children. The good news is that these underlying causes of most malocclusions can be successfully treated in children without braces or other extensive dental procedures.