> Treatments > The Hows and Whys of Orthodontics
(1 of 5)
and Whys of Orthodontics (Part 1)
When considering orthodontic treatment for your child, or indeed
yourself, there are a number of points to be taken into consideration:
- Why do the teeth and jaws become malpositioned
and crooked in the first place?
- Why do I need to be concerned about the position
of the teeth and jaws, is it purely cosmetic or can there be more far
reaching consequences for the rest of the body?
- How can these problems be corrected and how
long will it take?
- How much will it cost and how do I pay?
All of the above points must be considered before starting
Why do teeth and jaws develop into malocclusion?
Many studies have been carried out over the last few decades examining
the skulls of ancient man from many different parts of the world. Some of the skulls were many thousands of years old, others only
a few hundred - barely ticks on the evolutionary clock of human kind.
The skulls from ancient civilisation all showed
well-developed broad dental arches well-aligned with the teeth, with the
teeth showing little or no decay. All of these excellent mouths were
what nature intended. They didn't need dentists in those days!
Initial research carried out by Weston Price in the 1930's, and that
of many researchers since, has shown that many of these changes
may be due to the change in our diet.
It has been shown that when the natural primitive
diet is changed for the more modern, highly refined diet, tooth decay
appears almost immediately and, within a couple of generations, the
dental arches of many children start to become narrow
and the teeth become crooked. So it may seem that malocclusion and tooth decay
is a disease of modern civilisation.
How Can Diet Affect the Size and Shape of the
One of the most important factors in the development of your child's
jaws and teeth are the muscles that we use for chewing, talking, breathing
and swallowing. These are called the muscles of mastication. The
teeth and jaws take up a position that is in the neutral zone of
all these muscles so, if the muscles do not function correctly, then
the teeth and jaws will not develop correctly.
The neutral zone
is the area where the forces of the lips, cheeks and tongue are
all balanced the tongue pushing out and the lips and cheeks pushing
in so we find that the muscles act as natural braces.
Stewart J. Wright, Holistic Dental
Practitioner, Shore Street Dental Surgery, Cawdor Place, Shore Street, Oban