Importance Of Proper Arch Development
Parents want what is best for their children in every way. Many parents are well aware of the specific milestones that children should reach during the first eighteen months of life. However, there are several important growth and development factors that must be evaluated in each child during the first decade of life. Surprisingly, it is the dentist who becomes the guardian of normal facial growth and development for young children to achieve the following:
- A normal and functioning bite – when the upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth and the opposite molars fit together
- No TMJ issues – issues dealing with jaw pain
- No issues with sleep disordered breathing – no problems with abnormal respiratory patterns as seen with sleep apnea
- Correct tongue position – the ideal tongue position is pressed against the roof of the mouth rather than settling at the bottom of the mouth, the tongue should also not press against the backs of teeth
By monitoring issues such as those listed above, it’s easier to detect poor oral habits that lead to insufficient space in the roof of the mouth for the tongue to sit. This is what is called an underdeveloped arch. An underdeveloped arch, which is beneficial to detect at a young age, can cause a child’s face to grow in an unsymmetrical way, causing an imbalance in their appearance. A balanced face is the result of not only bone growth, but also the balance of normal functioning muscles, proper nutrition and the ability to breathe normally. These are the potential problems that need to be monitored when looking for an underdeveloped arch:
- Thumb and finger sucking
- Tongue thrusting when speaking or swallowing
- Mouth breathing (caused by enlarged tonsils, adenoids, allergies)
- Incorrect tongue position
- Poor oral positions (lips apart, tongue not resting on palate)
If any potential problems are detected, there are treatment plans that can be followed to correct the issue. Treating any problems as soon as they arise can help prevent additional issues such as crowding, speech difficulties, and lengthy use of braces.
We are happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with the development of your child’s oral health. Please feel free to contact our office located in Kewaskum, WI. We look forward to seeing you again soon.