Everyone loves to flash a smile with straight white teeth, because straight teeth is considered beautiful. Straight teeth gives you a sense of confidence. You should also have well aligned teeth for the proper chewing and other functions of the mouth. Teeth in the proper order and form also have an influence on your airway.
The development of your teeth and the jaws happen in childhood. The jaw growth is completed by around the 18 th year. Any defects in the teeth or the jaw growth, has to be detected early on and corrected. Several factors contribute to irregular teeth. These factors include
- Prenatal health
- Use of pacifiers
- Oral habits
- Poor oral and dental hygiene
- Prevent missing teeth
Prenatal health of a child depends on the amount of care a mother takes during pregnancy. The diet, exercise and the mental state of mind of the expectant mother has a direct effect on the growing fetus. Practice of yoga, breathing exercises and a well balanced diet is the key to good health of the baby.
Pacifiers and breast-feeding
Young mothers tend to use pacifiers for a longer time. They also breastfeed the child for shorter durations. This may be due to various professional and social commitments. Since, we know that the development of the teeth, jaws and the airway begin at an early age, we should take are to educate ourselves about what best we can do for our children. Children who are breastfed for longer tend to have lesser dental problems at a later age. They also have better jaw development as opposed to children who are bottle-fed.
Pacifiers are not all bad. However, using pacifiers beyond 2 years is not recommended. Studies have shown that 6 months is a good time to stop the use of pacifiers. Prolonged use of pacifiers can lead to malocclusion.
Bad oral habits
Bad oral habits in children like thumb sucking, lip biting, mouth breathing, nail biting can all contribute to malocclusion. Take your child for regular dental check ups. Your dentist will recognise any deviation from normal growth early and guide you appropriately.
Encourage good dental hygiene in your child. A child with poor gum health is likely to have crooked teeth and gum disease at a later age. Children learn by watching their parents and peers. Help them develop good dental hygiene routines.
Prevent early loss of teeth
Early loss of teeth in children creates a crowding in the jaw. When your child loses a milk tooth earlier the the normal the adjacent teeth tend to move into the space. This reduces the amount of space that is available for the permanent tooth to come into the correct place. If your child loses a tooth early on, make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will guide you into using space maintainers to prevent collapse in the arch.
In summary, here are some tips you can follow from day one
- Breastfeed your child for 12 to 24 months. Breast milk is more nutritious than formula milk. The movement of the tongue during breast feeding is critical for the development go the jaws and other structures.
- Avoid formula milk and bottle feeding as much as possible. The nipple of the bottle is hard and forces your baby to strain while feeding.
- Stop pacifier use at 6 months. Prolonged use of pacifiers has detrimental long term effects on the development of jaws and teeth.
- Start with hard and chewy food at the earliest. When your child begins to chew give hi m foods like carrots, sweet potato, steamed vegetables, Bananas, eggs and avocados.
- Avoid processed food. give your child nutrient rich natural food.
- Take your baby for his first dental check up before the teeth erupts. Follow up with your dentist at regular intervals. Your dentist will be able to detect any deviation from normal at the early stages. Early intervention helps create better smiles.