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Guide To Your Children’s Early Jaw Growth

December 30, 2020

Parents’ Guide To Their Children’s Early Jaw Growth

“Diseases can rarely be eliminated through early diagnoses or better treatment, but prevention can eliminate the disease” (Denis Parsons Burkitt). While a child’s jaw is growing, take all measures to ensure that it grows healthy so medical issues can never occur. Proper jaw growth has to do with soft tissue and muscles of the face. When either the soft tissue or muscle is dysfunctional, it leads to bad habits at home. These habits are overactive lip and cheek muscles, mouth breathing, low tongue posture, or improper swallowing. These conditions can be prevented from happening to children when the right steps are taken.

Factors That Stunt Jaw Growth

Three important factors affect a child’s facial development: nasal breathing, tongue posture, and sealed lips where the teeth touch lightly. When these factors are disregarded, it leads to problems with the jaw development, their teeth’ growth, and how the face settles on the child.

Several habits that are affecting a child’s jaw development:

• Adverse swallowing patterns

• Incorrect tongue posture

• Thumbsucking

• Genetics

• Poor oral positions (bottom jaw hanging open & lips apart)

The effects of these habits on a child include:

• Long face syndrome

• Recessed jaw or chin

• Sunken cheeks

• Small jaws

• Reduction in the absorption of oxygen

• Sleep-disordered breathing

Benefits of Early Treatment

Orthodontic Arts shows the Importance of jaw growth

Parents should have their children checked out by an orthodontist specializing in this kind of practice as early as possible. Certain conditions are easier to treat than later on as the child ages. There are a couple of things that the orthodontist will check for.

Children’s jaws should be checked to monitor the direction of growth of their jaw to ensure that it is balanced. The doctor will be checking for teeth that may be overly crowded or loosely spaced. If the teeth are severely crowded, that means the jaw is too small to allow all the permanent teeth to grow. When it comes to loosely spaced teeth, it can be caused by bad habits such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and posture.


Orthodontic Arts treats each patient as an individual. Each patient will have an initial consultation appointment in our office to gather records with photos, a digital scan, and a panoramic x-ray. Dr. Birdwell and Dr. Wilson can determine the best treatment approach from there.

If treatment is necessary, the child’s jaw growth will be monitored as it grows into a balanced placement between the jaw and the face. If there are areas of the jaw that are lacking in growth, then it would be stimulated. If the growth becomes excessive, the doctors will manage it. In the second stage of treatment, the child would receive braces or clear aligners placed in their mouth. Braces allow their teeth to be guided into the proper position. This will only occur if the child has all of their adult teeth. Afterward, the child would wear retainers to keep the teeth in place.

One of the treatment options for excessive space between the upper and lower front teeth is the herbst appliance. The purpose of this device is to hold the lower jaw in a favorable position during its natural growth. This appliance, which is used in conjunction with traditional braces, consists of right and left arms that connect to and join crowns cemented on the upper and lower molars. Because the herbst appliance is cemented to the teeth, it works 24 hours per day – unlike traditional headgear or other compliance-dependent treatment methods.

The Importance Of Early Orthodontic Intervention

Orthodontic Arts spotlights jaw growth

A bright, healthy, and beautiful smile is what every parent wants on their child’s face. Although there’s more to life than appearance, there are certainly some positive benefits. One of the benefits of early treatment is that the child’s jaw grows correctly, and their self-esteem grows.

If a child is left untreated, they could have malocclusions that worsen as time goes by. Also, crowded teeth or crooked teeth are difficult to clean, resulting in tooth decay. Some additional issues that may occur include the wear and tear of tooth surfaces, which can come with headaches that negatively impact the child.

It is important to note that a child’s teeth can be fixed at any age. Book an appointment at Orthodontic Arts to maximize your child’s teeth. From there, regular dental appointments will guarantee parents that their children will enter adulthood with a beautiful smile.