A narrow jaw can spell problems for a child in terms of orthodontic health. In this post, our BC and Alberta orthodontists explain how jaw development is linked to orthodontic health and how early intervention can help.
What Is Narrow Jaw?
The development of your child's face and jaw is critical to their oral and overall health and well-being. Since we use our jaws to do everything from speaking to eating, it's important that this facial feature develops normally. In addition, normal growth promotes a broad smile, good health in the temporomandibular joint, and proper teeth alignment and airway development.
But orthodontic issues such as a narrow jaw lead to serious oral and physical health issues, leading to teeth crowding, breathing issues, impacted teeth, jaw pain and more.
How Can Orthodontics Help?
By detecting orthodontic issues early and treating them with early intervention, we can help your child chew, eat and breathe more easily. Plus, early treatment can potentially reduce the amount of treatment time they would need with braces or Invisalign clear aligners as a teenager.
While every child's case and circumstances are unique, we encourage parents to schedule an initial orthodontic assessment for their child by the age of 7. When children are young, their jaws are still malleable and developing, which presents an opportunity to take a proactive, preventive approach to treatment.
In Phase 1 of our 2-phase orthodontic approach, we plan to guide jaw development to improve the width of dental arches. We also aim to correct unhealthy habits and improve chewing and swallowing function. By using a palatal expander to widen the upper jaw, we can create more space in your child's mouth as jaw development occurs and adult teeth erupt.