While many people know orthodontic health is closely related to tooth alignment and other issues, they might not be aware that how our lips rest can also indicate a problem. Our BC and Alberta orthodontists explain what can be done for children with this challenge.
What is Lips Over Mouth?
Did you know there is a certain way our lips should rest when we're not using them for eating, speaking or drinking? When our mouth is in proper resting position, it's closed and the lips seal together without strain. We can breathe in and out through our nose and the tongue can relax along the plate. It should rest behind but not push against the front of the teeth.
If the mouth is in an improper resting position, the mouth will be closed and you may see your child's lips straining. The lips might also be open when they're resting, and may breathe in and out through their mouth. The tongue my also protrude or push against the front teeth, and the lower jaw may hang forward. This can also be referred to as lips over mouth, open lip or open mouth position.
Because this is not a natural position, it can create problems with jaw development and the function of oral structures. This orthodontic-related issue can lead to a range of issues such as crowded teeth, underbite, overbite, and protruding front teeth. Your child may also have challenges with speech articulation.
How Can Orthodontics Help?
The first thing to keep in mind is that our orthodontists at myORTHODONTIST often diagnose orthodontic issues related to lips over mouth and that while every case is unique, your child's case can most likely be addressed. We'll begin with an initial assessment and take a 2-phase approach to treatment.
Because young children's jaws are still developing and therefore malleable, we recommend booking an initial orthodontic assessment for your child as soon as age 5, and no later than age 7. This is an ideal time for early orthodontic intervention. By diagnosing and treating the problem early, we may be able to address the underlying cause of the problem.
Treating emerging issues and guiding proper jaw development is important to protect your child's present and future oral health. As we map out. your child's custom treatment plan, palatal expansion, braces and Invisalign First may be considered as options depending on your child's needs.