Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
It seems these days that a significant amount of children end up wearing braces when they become tweens or teens. What does this indicate? That many children have crooked teeth or misaligned bites. Why are malocclusions (a bad bite) so common, and what can be done about it besides waiting until your child is old enough to undergo orthodontics? Today on the blog, neuromuscular dentist in Detroit, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, shares why kids’ teeth become crooked and steps parents can take to avoid the severity of the condition.
A silent epidemic
Orofacial myofunctional disorders or OMDs are becoming a silent epidemic among children.
OMDs develop as a result of the following:
- Prolonged thumb sucking
- Using the bottle or pacifier past one year of age
- Open mouth posture
- Mouth breathing
- TMJ disorder
- Poor oral posture
The resting posture and function of the lips and tongue have a significant impact on jawbone development and how well the upper dental palate grows. In cases as mentioned above, OMDs hinder jaw growth and lead to narrow upper palates and airways, which may increase a child’s risk of developing sleep apnea or TMJ disorder. When the jaws and dental arch are underdeveloped, there isn’t as much space for teeth to naturally erupt and may lead to malocclusion or misaligned teeth and a crooked bite.
Traditional orthodontics takes a different approach than that of a neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak. Not addressing the OMD and establishing correct oral posture and function means that healthy teeth are extracted to make room for straightening the other teeth with braces. While this approach fixes tooth crookedness, it doesn’t address the underlying issue – underdeveloped jaws, recessed or weak chin, and a narrow palate and airway. This means the child is left dealing with the long-term effects of OMDs later in life and may even suffer from orthodontic relapse in which they have to resort to getting braces again later in life.
How does neuromuscular dentistry help my child have straighter teeth?
Neuromuscular dentistry is a specialty in the field that focuses on creating harmony among how the teeth fit together (occlusion), jawbone and palatal growth and development, as well as nasal breathing and a healthy airway. Plus, neuromuscular dental treatments address the issue of crooked teeth to create a healthy and aesthetically pleasing smile.
Included in neuromuscular dentistry is myofunctional therapy, which is physical therapy for the mouth, lips, and tongue. It trains these muscles to function and rest properly, making orthodontic treatment more effective and longer-lasting. Myofunctional therapy can only be administered under the care of a licensed myofunctional therapist. It requires patient commitment and at-home exercises to ensure the best results. Myofunctional therapy in Detroit has proven beneficial to children and adults in correcting OMDs and helping lessen the time spent in orthodontic treatment.
Myofunctional Therapy in Detroit, Royal Oak, and Birmingham
If your child has crooked teeth, you must first address the underlying OMD before the dentists straightens their teeth with braces. To learn more about myofunctional therapy, its benefits, or see if your child is a candidate for this treatment, contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation today.