"Mom's teeth + Dad's jaw = crowded teeth in Junior" mythBusted big time!
Crooked teeth are not the result of genetics. Dad's big teeth and Mom's tiny jaw is a myth perpetuated by misinformed dentists. That's what I, too, remember learning in school and I incorrectly gave out that misinformation. Shame on me for not researching this! I know much better now. I returned from the second annual Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences Congress (AAMS) in Chicago in early March and learned otherwise! Instead, the culprits are our modern diet, bottle feeding, pacifiers, finger sucking, tongue ties, and mouth breathing. Crooked teeth, malformed jaw bones, underdeveloped facial bones, allergies, and chemical sensitivities are fairly recent developments in humans. Dr. Weston Price concluded most crowding is due to our modern diet and the lack of critical nutrients - minerals and fat soluble vitamins A, D & K2. Dr. Price studied isolated peoples at the turn of the 20th century. He viewed what these groups of people ate, analyzing their diets/nutrition. He photographed their children and concluded the crowding and changes in modern man's jaws were related to our modern diet. Dr. Price's book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is quite in-depth but I'm working my way through it. There's a simpler version on the Weston Price Foundation Website. Next time you wander through a museum and see skulls - look at how straight and perfect our ancestor's teeth were. No decay and no crowding. That'll give you food for thought.
"Mouth breathing is okay and natural" myth
Busted as well.
See above! I chat about mouth breathing and all the problems it causes all the time to anyone who'll listen, and even some who won't. It may be what folks "do" (walk through any airport and you'll see what I mean), however, it's not healthy! Your mouth is only an emergency hatch. It's not meant to be used as your main source of respiration. Yes, I get that you do it, however, you'll be so much healthier if you breath through your nose. What, you have a deviated septum and can't!? Maybe it's time to fix that so you can. Your nose has important jobs to do to keep you healthy. It filters air (remember how dirty your house filter is? Your nose does that on a daily basis.) It warms and moisturizes your air. It purifies the air, filters out and kills pathogens, viruses and allergens. It adds nitric oxide to your system. Nitric oxide relaxes smooth muscles and increase oxygen uptake through dilating the blood vessels. Nasal breathing helps reduce anxiety. If you or other family members can't regularly nasal breathe, it's time to see a specialist or two such as an Allergist, or Ear, Nose and Throat doc. Yes, it's that important. Mouth breathing is NOT healthy breathing. It results in so many health issues. Read my post: Breathing- Not Everyone is Doing it Right. Then, close your mouth and breathe through your nose. Really!
"Snoring is cute in babies" myth.BUSTED!
I mean, yes, babies are super cute, but more important to their lifelong health is that I learned at the AAMS Congress that babies and snoring do NOT mix. Snores sounds coming from your sweet li'l punkin' means punkin' is not breathing correctly while sleeping. It means her airway is shutting down and is compromising her entire li'l body. Babies brains grow at one percent a day for the first three months of life. Mouth breathing can reduce baby's IQ by up to 15%. Snoring means baby's oxygen levels are dropping and her cells aren't getting enough O2. The growing brain doesn't like this!
I realize you're not in there watching and listening to her sleep. Download the sleep app SnoreLab. Listen, see and be enlightened! Your cell phone can now be much more useful. Get your and baby's Snore Score! And, FYI- snoring in children of any age is NOT acceptable! As I did my research for this post I really tumbled to the fact many medical websites dismiss snoring as more of a nuisance than as a real medical and breathing problem. Maintaining an airway and getting all the oxygen your body or your baby's body needs is vital to health and proper growth. If your medical provider dismisses your concerns, it might be time to find another, just saying...don't ignore the snore.
"Kissing Tonsils will shrink as baby gets older" myth.
Maybe they'll shrink, BUT! meantime, think of the havoc they're creating! (How the heck does this person breathe, swallow, or sleep well?) These tonsils create airway issues that cause crowded, crooked teeth, narrow dental arches, high vaulted palate, and a long narrow face. Mouth breathing can result and you know what I think about mouth breathing!?! These type of swollen tonsils have other consequences as well, such as bed wetting, day time sleepiness, attention deficient disorders, and other behavioral issues (ahem, see again the snoring and mouth breathing topics).
I do realize any operation has risks and those risks must be weighed off against the advantages of doing the surgery, so investigate as to the cause of the swelling. Is it allergies, acid reflux, viral infection, or bacterial infection? Again, it may be time to video tape your child sleeping, see how much they toss, turn, and snore.
"Tongue Ties will stretch or don't matter" myth.
Under the tongue is a little piece of tissue called the frenum. It connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Sometimes, that tissue is short or just attached closer to the tip of the tongue. The tethered frenum can cause just as much havoc as the kissing tonsils, just in a different location! Tongue ties matter a lot! The frenum can restrict the growth of the jaw (think crooked teeth), cause obstructive sleep apnea (tongue falls back into the airway during sleep because it can't reach its proper rest position on the roof of the mouth), cause an abnormal swallow pattern (which creates an entirely new host of problems), and cause mouth breathing (see above!). Just like any tissue, it won't stretch or get cut accidentally. Releasing it is the way to go, and IMHO, the earlier the better.
"Lip Ties don't matter" myth.
Another area in the mouth that has frenums is the lower and upper lips. These frenums connect the lips to the jaw. Sometimes, nature gets interrupted during fetal development, and the lip or lips stay tightly attached to the jaw. The problem with ties, especially for newborns, is that their lips are so tight they can't make a good enough seal around mom's nipple to nurse or nurse effectively. Anyone who says these frenums do not matter or that they will resolve themselves are misinformed.
"Pacifiers are okay, especially the ortho ones!" myth.
As I've mentioned before in other blog post, I had thought a pacifier was a good and safe alternative to digit sucking. I was totally misinformed! Actually, I was uninformed. Now, having done my research, I can tell you pacifiers of all kinds can indeed cause problems with jaw development, resulting in crooked teeth and a guaranteed trip to the orthodontist. The research shows the beloved binky creates open bites, overjet bites, and posterior crossbites as well as making the roof of the mouth more narrow. (Which is all dental-ese for crooked teeth.)
The photo is of my daughter, who still has a lateral tongue thrust, and therefore an open bite- even after ortho. If only I knew then what I know now!
"Baby Formula is just as good as breast milk" myth.
|Corn Syrup is the first ingredient!|
Sucrose, or corn syrup or any one of the other 61 names for sugar conditions baby to want more sugar. Sugar in our infant formulas creates baby's dependence on sugar, rather like a drug addiction! I understand, not all parents can breastfeed, however, it's time we had better baby formula. Of course, breastfeed if at all possible.
"Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (Myo) doesn't work" myth.
Very early dental pioneers in orthodontics:
Dr. Edward Angles stated mouth breathing was the cause of crooked teeth and that every malocclusion has a myofunctional cause.
Dr. Alfred Rogers stated that muscle function is the key in the treatment of malocclusion (crooked teeth).
What's a "myofunctional cause"? The causes of crooked teeth start very young with baby bottle feeding, tongue ties, thumb sucking, pacifier sucking, and mouth breathing, as well as other noxious oral habits.
It's been a fun and educational three years of writing this blog post! I've been learning a lot, hope you have too. What stands out most to me, especially in this post, as well as the other two myth busting posts is the need to not just accept things because it is conventional wisdom. Rather, do your own research. I've made errors because I assumed something was true when it wasn't. The internet makes it easy to learn and open your mind. Don't be "misinformed"!