Important Background Information:
Growth and Development of the Facial Bones
It seems most of our children these days are developing crowded teeth and their jaws are developing incorrectly. Crowded teeth do not just happen. They are a symptom as well as a warning sign.
In proper growth and development, the tongue lives in the roof of the mouth. The constant but gentle pressure of the tongue expands and advances the maxilla, or the upper arch. As the upper arch moves forward, the lower grows with it. This allows for the proper favorable growth that we want to see in all children. The other important component of proper growth is breathing through the nose with our lips sealed at rest. These three things (tongue in the roof of the mouth, nasal breathing, and lips sealed at rest) make up the proper healthy oral rest posture. Without all of these things, proper growth is not likely to happen. Even though it is never too late to begin correcting growth problems, the younger someone starts the better the potential outcomes.
Did you know?
The width and position of the upper jaw determines how far forward the lower jaw can go. At age 4, the facial skeleton has reached 60% of its adult size; by age 12, 90% of facial growth has occurred. There is no reason to wait until 90% of growth has occurred.
When teeth come in crooked, it is better to develop the jaws as young as possible — this will allow the space needed for permanent teeth.