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A Healthy Jaw in Young Children

I constantly come across parents who bring their young children in for consultation, and when I see certain signs (see my previous posts), and I suggest early jaw orthopedics or arch development intervention to promote a healthy jaw, they wonder if the condition would “reverse” itself as the child grows, or if the child would “grow out of it”. 

I understand that notion, but for one, if a condition reflects a deficient jaw growth pattern or a deficiency in dental arch size, what would change from then on that would eliminate these trends? Would the body decide to “accelerate” the growth of the deficient jaw if we sat and waited? Would the arches grow at a faster rate to accommodate the crowded teeth? Not at all. 

I have seen mild cases in a 6-10 year old where not doing anything eventually ends up in an “acceptable” situation by the mid-teen years, but then secondary and tertiary crowding catches up by the second and third decades in life. Would we settle for that if we had the chance to intervene in the window of opportunity during the early formative and jaw growth phases of the 6-10 year old? 

Of course it depends what the condition is. If it has to do with jaw orthopedics, such as a vertically deep bite, or a retruded (underdeveloped) lower jaw, the sequelae of these impact the general health and growth of the child significantly. 

Well-developed jaws are directly related to health and physical stamina. Weston Price at the beginning of the 20th century demonstrated this as well. One has to observe the images of faces and well-developed profiles in photography of models, and even more pronounced jaws in the media, in cartoons, in marvel comics, to see this connection between jaw sizes, beauty and strength. 

Lower jaw underdevelopment is the case of the child featured in the image at the top of this post. I have always maintained that in 99% of cases, this “ugly duckling” phase after front teeth erupt, is NOT the fault of the upper jaw, but rather the fault of the UNDERDEVELOPMENT of the lower jaw. If this child undergoes jaw orthopedics, the lower jaw can be made to grow faster with benefits to airway, TMJ, profile, performance, etc. This can ONLY happen during the ages of 8-11 in boys, and 7-10 in girls. After that, the jaws will have consummated 80% of their growth, therefore one can imagine how hard it would be to modify growth patterns.

If you have any concerns about the growth of your child’s jaw, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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The information provided in this site is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice and is not intended to provide complete medical information. KidsMisdiagnosed, Inc does not offer personalized medical diagnosis of patient-specific treatment advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. Remember, the failure to seek timely medical advice can have serious ramifications. KidsMisdiagnosed, Inc urges you to discuss any current health related problems you or your child are experiencing with a healthcare professional immediately.