What Causes Crooked Teeth?
Majority of children now have crooked teeth, which is evident from five years of age and is often attributed to hereditary factors. However, rather than blame genetics for crooked teeth and poor jaw development, modern research has produced evidence that points to other causes.
Mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing and thumb sucking (known as incorrect myofunctional habits) are the real causes.
If a child is a mouth breather, their tongue is unable to rest in the correct position and the mouth will remain open. This causes the muscles of the jaws and face to restrict correct forward growth, forcing it backwards and downwards resulting in narrow jaws and an underdeveloped face.
Fact: The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in our body and can exert up to 500g (17.5oz) of force. To put that in perspective, it only takes 1.7g (0.05oz) of force to move a tooth.
Did you know there is a spot in your mouth where the tongue should naturally rest whenever you are not eating or speaking?
The tongue determines the shape and size of the upper jaw. If the child habitually has a low tongue position (as in mouth breathing) the upper teeth will not have enough space and the lower jaw is forced back and down, affecting the way the face grows.
A normal top jaw grows properly because the tongue rests in the correct position (known as the Correct Tongue Resting Position), which is in the roof of your mouth.
If your tongue does not rest in the roof of your mouth, the top jaw will become too narrow and teeth won’t have enough room to grow straight.
Another thing to watch out for is if you’re swallowing the wrong way, with lots of movement in the bottom lip. Incorrect swallowing is when the tongue pushes forward and the lips push back when swallowing. When this happens your front teeth will be pushed backwards and this also causes your teeth to be crowded. A child swallows twice per minute and if they have an incorrect (reverse) swallowing pattern, the facial muscles will push backwards against the direction of growth, preventing the face from developing to its genetic potential.
The forces of the lips and cheeks greatly affect the positioning of the teeth and jaws. Poor muscle tone or incorrect control of the lip and cheek muscles make it difficult for the child to seal their lips together and increases overactivity when swallowing.
When swallowing there should be no activity of the lower lip. Incorrect lip habits cause the lower teeth to be crowded and restrict jaw growth.
The Myobrace®System is preventive pre-orthodontic treatment that focuses on addressing the underlying causes of crooked teeth, often without the need for braces or extraction of teeth, unlocking natural growth and development. Treatment is best suited to children aged 3 to 15 and involves using a series of removable intra-oral appliances that are worn for 1-2 hours each day plus overnight while sleeping.
What Myobrace® treatment does:
- Corrects poor oral habits
- Develops & aligns the jaws
- Straightens the teeth
- Optimises facial development
- Improves overall health
- Promotes healthy eating habits
How does it do this? By helping the child:
- Breathe through the nose
- Correct tongue resting position
- Swallow correctly
- Keep the lips together
How It Works
Waiting until all permanent teeth have come through to begin treatment with braces can unfortunately lead to irreversible damage affecting not only the teeth, but also the child’s overall health and development.
Poor myofunctional habits (poor oral habits) are evident before all permanent teeth are present, which means treatment of the causes can begin much earlier than originally thought. This can be as early as three years of age.
Myobrace® together with Myofunctional therapy are designed to deal with these incorrect myofunctional habits by teaching children to breathe through their nose, rest the tongue correctly in the roof of the mouth, swallow correctly and continue widening the jaws so they grow to their full and proper size. This results in sufficient room for the teeth, allowing them to come in naturally straight and often without the need for braces.
The Myobrace®System consists of a series of intra-oral appliances that are worn for one hour each day plus overnight while sleeping. The appliances assist in correcting poor oral habits and expand the arch-form while exerting light forces to align the teeth and jaws. Separate appliances are used depending on the child’s age and type of orthodontic problem. In addition, the patient education program, known as Myofunctional therapy, is used to further correct the myofunctional habits causing the incorrect dental and jaw development. The Activities are to be performed twice daily in conjunction with wearing the Myobrace® appliance and consist of a series of breathing, tongue, swallowing, lip and cheek exercises.
The goal of the Myofunctional therapy is to obtain natural development of the jaws and teeth. With good compliance, Myobrace® treatment can offer more than just straighter teeth.
- Straighter teeth
- Correct alignment of the teeth and jaws
- Minimal or no use of braces
- No need for extraction of healthy teeth
- Reduced need for fixed retainers
- Improved facial development
- Improved overall health
- Develop to genetic potential
It is not always possible to achieve all these goals. Success of treatment is heavily dependent on the child’s compliance to Myobrace® treatment, their biological ability to change habits as well as growth patterns. Generally, the earlier treatment is started – the higher the level of success can be achieved. Good compliance allows for the best results in growing children aged 3 – 15 years.
Children and parents spanning more than 100 countries have discovered the benefits of myofunctional orthodontics using The Myobrace® System. Significant research over the past three decades has proven that Myobrace®, by Myofunctional Research Co. (MRC), offers an effective solution to treating the causes of poor jaw development and crooked teeth. The following cases are examples of patients who have undergone Myobrace® treatment.
These cases are for educational purposes only. Individual results vary and parents/patients should consult their practitioner for expected results
Ages 3-6 yrs
The parents of this three-year-old girl were concerned with their child’s open bite at such an early stage of her development. After 12 months of Myobrace® treatment, her open bite was completely corrected.
Ages 7-10 yrs
The parents of this 10-year-old boy were concerned about their son’s severe crowding in both the upper and lower jaws. The common advice would have been to wait until his teenage years and have braces fitted. Instead, the boy corrected his poor oral habits by undergoing 24 months of Myobrace® treatment, which naturally straightened his teeth and allowed his jaws to grow to their genetic potential.
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