By Yvonne Vannoort – Dentist BDS Otago
As parents, we want what is best for our children in every way. Many parents are well aware of the specifc milestones that our children should reach during the first 18 months of life.
However, there are several important growth and development factors that should be evaluated for each child during the first decade of life.
Surprisingly, it is your child’s dentist who becomes the guardian of normal facial growth and development. We believe that the role of your dentist is more than just taking care of your child’s teeth. Our goal is to monitor and guide the growth and development of young children to achieve the following:
- A healthy airway.
- A functional bite.
- Jaw joints working well and without pain or clicking.
- A lifetime of dental health.
- A well balanced and pleasant face and smile.
As parents, we often see the signs of airway problems, however they may go unnoticed. The following are a few of the symptoms:
- Airway problems.
- Mouth breathing, lips apart.
- Chapped, dry lips and red, inﬂammed gums.
- Dark circles beneath the eyes. (Venous pooling).
- Changes in head posture, posturing the head forward and tipping the forehead backwards to improve the airway.
- Tonsil and adenoids problems.
- Chronic sinus and throat problems.
- Snoring, children should not snore!
- Grinding of teeth.
- Extended bed wetting.
- Reﬂux into the Eustachian tube leading to inner ear infections.
When corrected early in life, the facial growth is encouraged to return to harmonious growth and development. Using various appliances and functional dentistry, I can modify the abnormal growth pattern and restore the balance of growth that nature intended.
Taking your child to a functional dentist as early as possible, even as early as age three, can be very beneficial. We wish your family good health, balanced faces and beautiful smiles!