Parents often worry about their child’s teeth alignment. Not only do people with poor teeth alignment give a bad impression, they also have an increased risk of having biting problems and getting cavities and/or other tooth disorders.
Many people think that one’s teeth alignment is determined based on one’s genes and body build.
However, children’s lifestyle habits actually have a larger affect on their teeth alignment than their genes or body build. In this article, we will introduce some lifestyle habits that tend to negatively affect children’s teeth alignment.
Even when they are not hungry, babies calm down by sucking on their mom’s breasts.
After they graduate from breast-feeding, many children still calm down by putting something in their mouths.
However, by continuing to put a finger or fingers in their mouth, children end up pushing out their front teeth.
Results have shown that sucking on one’s finger(s) is OK until children reach the age of 3 years old but if the habit continues until after they are 5 years old it can have a serious affect on the child’s teeth alignment.
If it looks like your child has a bad habit of sucking his/her finger(s) it is important to try to stop the habit as soon as possible.
Breathing through the mouth prevents the muscles used to close the mouth from developing which causes one’s teeth to push out.
It is the balance between the mouth muscles pushing inward and the tongue pushing outward that causes the teeth to align correctly.
Therefore, if the mouth muscles are loose, one’s teeth do not align correctly.
Also, loose mouth muscles often lead to not being able to close one’s mouth fully, which is something to be careful of.
Actions such as [always sleeping on the same side] and [always chewing on the same side] causes one to use one side of the jaw more than the other side.
This leads to unbalanced development of the jaw and teeth and breaks up one’s teeth alignment.
In some cases, this not only negatively affects teeth alignment but also one’s entire bony framework and throws off the left and right side balance of one’s mouth.
The affect continues to worsen as time goes by so it is important to encourage your child to eat evenly on both sides of his/her mouth whenever possible.
If one’s tongue always touches the same location inside the mouth this may also lead to bad teeth alignment.
The habit of pushing the boundary of the front teeth with one’s tongue can lead to problems closing one’s mouth completely.
Pushing the top teeth with one’s tongue can cause an overbite and pushing the bottom teeth with one’s tongue can cause an underbite.
In addition, it is important to worry about not just the position of the tongue but the habit in general.
Biting one’s nails and/or lips are habits that lead to unnatural movements of the mouth and if continued on a regular basis can cause negative affects to one’s teeth alignment.
These types of habits, if performed on a daily basis, will have a large affect on a child’s development.
In order to encourage a straight tooth alignment, it is important to insure that your child is in the habit of closing his/her mouth and chewing on his/her food completely.
Children who have weak chewing muscles will tend to like soft foods.
However, avoiding using his/her jaw muscles will lead to the development of a small jaw and uneven tooth alignment.
Fixing one’s tooth alignment requires time and money so it is important that parents try to encourage their children to break the above habits as soon as possible.