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  • Writer's pictureDr Shifa Shamsudeen

We Can Prevent Developing Crooked Teeth At The Earliest. Is It Necessary To Wait Till 14 To Straight

About 14 years before, I came home and told my mum and sister that I have decided to be a PEDIATRIC DENTIST, their first response was, a dentist, for a teeth thats going to fall off overnight? All I said was I will make a difference!!! and they trusted. Very often people mistake a pediatric dentist to be just at tooth doctor, who can drill and fill teeth that will eventually go to tooth fairy. It all started when I was a Post graduate resident, as I walked into the clinic every morning, I used to see sick and children with pain and suffering waiting for me, I asked myself if I have to hope to see children in pain everyday can I call myself a health care provider? and the journey began…. Being a PREVENTIVE PEDIATRIC DENTIST isn’t about treating diseases its about PREDICTION, GUIDANCE, PREVENTION & CORRECTION (When required). Today am going to write a simple blog on #startat3 to help children prevent crooked teeth. For those of you reading this, have you heard almost every other practitioner tell you to wait till the child is 14 to correct the crooked teeth? Crooked teeth (Malocclusion) is a noncommunicable lifestyle disease, pre-historic studies of skulls showed that humans in prehistoric days had well aligned teeth with wider arches (Picture attached). So what happened to modern humans?

  1. Lifestyle changes

  2. Industrialisation of food

  3. Industrialisation of Breastmilk The above leads to dysfunctions in the orofacial structures and thereby leading to crooked teeth, and this when happened over centuries became imprinted in DNA and passed on to offsprings and not genetics perse Is crooked teeth just an aesthetic concern? NO. Crooked teeth leads to so many healthcare issues later including, malnutrition, cavities, gum diseases, airway issues(Breathing troubles), which later leads to issues like repeated upper respiratory infections, snoring, bruxism, sleep issues, concentration issues, day time sleepiness are few to mention. If so then why wait till 14? Traditional orthodontics was, tooth centric/corrective of just the teeth. However, a Preventive Pediatric Dentist can help in prediction and analysis of the cause, and guide the permanent teeth, jaws and neck to its optimal genetic potential in simple terms we can prevent crooked teeth and help children get STRAIGHT TEETH NATURALLY with exercises. Hence the child will not have to wait till 14 years of age develop the disease and undergo invasive treatment. so If a family has a risk of developing diabetes, do we let the children develop them and treat? No right, we take preventive measures, we concentrate on the Child’s lifestyle, nutrition and activities to ensure their risk to develop the disease is taken care. SO WHY TO ACCEPT TO LET OUR CHILDREN DEVELOP CROOKED TEETH? When to start? The first best step is exclusive, extended, non-compensated BREASTFEEDING at least till the age of 2, if not done or if bottles are introduced, its better to start as early as the age of

  4. At this age all that the Preventive Pediatric Dentist might suggest is dietary modifications and some simple exercises. What If the child is already crossed the age? Children upto 15/16 of age can be treated non-invasive way with exercises, they will be needing few removable appliances which is used to deliver the exercises and accelerate the treatment . Few patients sometimes need to be finished with braces (for ex: when the tooth is rotated ) Does this really work? YES and NO. YES it does I have treated thousands of children NO it dosent if the child is non-compliant Below you see a simple info flyer on basic exercises (pic courtesy from MRC Australia). If you don’t have an access to a functional preventive practitioner these are the things to remember

  5. Lips together

  6. Breath trough your nose

  7. Tongue in its resting position (the place where the tip of the tongue rests when you pronounce the alphabet N)

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