Give Your Child a Lifetime of HealthFeb 27, 2023 07:35AM ● By Kristen Fischer, DDS
With an increase in the number of children experiencing health problems related to breathing and sleep issues, it begs the question, why is this happening and what can we do about it? In most cases, the underlying cause is related to the insufficient development of our jaws. While this may not sound significant, it is fundamental to our health and well-being.
This problem has been years in the making. Just look at how many children lack the room for third molars (wisdom teeth) and, despite having them extracted, need even more teeth pulled and orthodontic treatment (braces).
It’s not that our teeth have gotten bigger … our jaws have gotten smaller!
While pulling a few teeth and braces may seem like an adequate solution, it only masks an even greater problem. The lack of jaw real estate that results in crooked teeth also impairs a child’s ability to breathe and sleep properly. We now know that this can lead to a multitude of issues, from ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) to behavioral problems to allergies.
We used to tell patients, “Your child will grow out of it.” We now know this not to be true. In most cases, the problems actually get worse and, with time, can lead to a slew of chronic health conditions.
Fortunately, there is a way to treat the underlying cause of this problem. Using a program like HealthyStart, it is possible to retrain the muscles of the lips and tongue to function properly. When they do, they have the ability to not only create the much-needed space for teeth to erupt, but also for the airway to develop. Don’t think it is possible for your own muscles to move teeth and bone? Well, what happens when you don’t wear your retainer after the orthodontist straightens your teeth? That’s right, the muscles of your lips and cheeks move the teeth back to their original, crowded position.
Lack of room for wisdom teeth and crooked teeth are just a symptom of underdeveloped facial structures. By fixing the root cause of the problem, we not only give our children a more beautiful smile, but also a lifetime of better health.
Dr. Kristen Fischer is a 2013 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. In addition to having memberships in the IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) and IABDM (International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine), she has attained certifications from the American College of Integrative Medicine and Dentistry and the Institute for Functional Medicine. Fischer is a member of the Natural Dental Partners team, a health-centered dental practice in North Phoenix. For more information or to make an appointment, call 602-775-5120 or visit MyNaturalDentist.com.