Braces and Facial Growth

A child’s facial growth is partly genetic and partly a result of the balance of muscles connected to the head. Each facial component develops in relation to every other component. For example, if a child has a chronic thumb-sucking habit or mouth-breathing habit, these can affect the way muscles develop.

Diet can also play a role if it consists of too much soft food that requires little or no chewing. The jaws may then be under-developed, leading to tooth crowding and misalignment. For example, a narrow upper jaw may constrain the lower jaw into a backwards position, creating an overbite. If the upper jaw is gradually expanded through use of a customized orthodontic appliance, the lower jaw can then move forward and the upper and lower teeth will meet correctly.

Timing the Braces Well
Dr. Rudman can give your child an initial orthopedic examination to determine if any potential problems exist with teeth and jaw alignment. He will discuss his findings with you and depending on the specifics of each case, there will be a point where it is best to begin orthodontic treatment – braces of some type.

From the point of view of facial growth, the best time to start with braces is after the child’s permanent teeth have all grown in, and while the facial structure is still developing. That is around the age of 12.

By correcting any malocclusion or teeth misalignment in the teenage years, facial growth can proceed more normally and many later problems can be avoided. Please see our page on Getting Started for more details.

If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation for your child, please contact us today. Our orthodontic office in downtown Denver, Colorado offers the highest quality dental care using state-of-the-art technology. We hope to meet with you soon.

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