In part one of this series, we raised the question and asked if we are all destined for braces as a result of modern times. The truth of the matter is, dental health has changed over generations from the foods we eat and breastfeeding practices to the gadgets kids use such as pacifiers and sippy cups. Because of modern inventions and different dental practices, we’re seeing kids with a large amount of jaw and mouth abnormalities that require orthodontic work.
If you’ve been looking for a dentist in Windsor, you can find patient-centered family dentistry at Precision Dental of Windsor that addresses dental concerns from tooth fillings to teeth whitening. Read more about how early identification and practices may help prevent braces!
Dental Health in Babies and Kids
We learned in our last post that pacifiers increase teeth misalignments and children who were breastfed for a shorter amount of time had higher rates of dental concerns. It’s also important to note that in this same study, babies who scored low on the Apgar test — a test that measures a baby’s health and vitality — had increased dental health issues that became permanent over time. Interestingly enough, babies in this study who never used a pacifier still had a high chance of misaligned teeth, and determined that breastfeeding for a longer amount of time will help to prevent these issues.
So what dental habits can you begin to incorporate to possibly prevent braces later on?
It’s important to follow what was found in the study including:
- Breastfeeding for at least 12 to 24 months
- Stop pacifier use after six months – If this proceeds any longer it begins to change the shape of the mouth and oral development.
- Don’t be afraid of chewy foods – Chewy foods are excellent in jaw development. This can look like steamed veggies, eggs, avocados, and bananas.
- Establish and practice first-hand healthy eating habits
- Avoid the garbage – If at all possible, avoids processed foods, especially sugar.
Have you heard of Myofunctional Training?
Myofunctional training seeks to address disorders of the face and mouth and how it impacts the way we sleep, swallow, and speak. Myofunctional training can also help prevent malocclusions, thus braces later on in life.
If your child has difficulty with any of the above issues, myofunctional training may be helpful. We know the function of the tongue and development of the jaw greatly impact and influence the way teeth come in. When you get to the root of the issue and correct for poor dental habits, this will hopefully quell the time spent or even the need for braces.
Myofunctional training addresses and builds the following:
- Builds nasal breathing
- Establishes correct tongue posture
- Develops closed lip posture
- Guides chewing, eating, breastfeeding
- Supports sleep, speech, and functions of the mouth and jaw.
In our culture, we see kids and teenagers in braces more often than not, which may clue us in to a deeper issue at play. Crowded teeth and malocclusions form from the oral habits we develop as we age. If we address these things early on in life, it may revolutionize modern dentistry.
We’ll go into depth on myofunctional training in our third and final post, so stay tuned.