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How a Child's Diet Can Affect Facial Growth and Development
How a child’s diet can affect facial growth and development
“Is it me, or does it seem like every kid needs braces these days?” This is a common question most dentists hear from parents practically everyday. Well the simple answer is that yes, many if not most, do in fact need some level of orthodontic intervention or treatment to correct crowded and misaligned teeth as well as underdeveloped jaws. The more complicated question is why this is so prevalent?
There is increasing evidence that processed and genetically modified foods are as much of a culprit as any for this increase in facial and oral abnormalities. While this might be breaking news to some, there was actually a dentist back in the early 1900s that first began to discuss how our “modern” diets were affecting the growth and development of our children’s faces.
Dr. Westin Price, a dentist from Cleveland began to notice that many of his patients had narrow and long faces, lower jaws that were underdeveloped, forward head and neck posture and very crowded teeth (dentitions). He then decided to travel around the world and study the faces and smiles of primitive cultures whose diets were completely free of modern processed foods. What he found and documented was and still is fascinating. These people had wide broad smiles free of any crowding, proper cranium or head posture and fully developed faces and jaws. What is even more interesting is that he was able to then study some populations of people who had recently been introduced to refined sugars, flours and canned foods. Within one generation of this change in diet these people began to develop many of the same facial and dental problems and abnormalities he had observed in his patients back in Cleveland.
The processed foods Dr. Price was studying back the 1930s is nothing compared to the foods we are exposed to today. Even with the recent movement towards a more organic and natural diet, the average American eats foods packed full of processed and genetically modified ingredients. So what then does this have to do with how our face or teeth develop? The answer lies primarily in how the airway is compromised because of the reaction the human body has to these foods.
Cow’s milk and eggs are the most common allergens in our diets. Studies have found that these, combined with pesticide sprayed and processed foods can, in many cases, cause reactive swelling of the tonsils and adenoids. The enlarged tissues then block the airway and cause ‘mouth breathing’ and an unnatural tongue position. To compensate, the head moves forward to open the airway and increase oxygen. This, in turn, causes certain muscles to dominate the facial growth and we end up with long narrow faces and crowded teeth and deep over-closed bites.
The late Dr. Jim Gary, a pedodontist from San Diego was also one of early pioneers in understanding and documenting this correlation between swollen tonsils and adenoids and facial development. Dr. Gary, the inventor of the ‘NUK’ Pacifier and had done research early in career on how children who breast fed often times had better developed faces and teeth. He later conducted research on children with what would be considered obstructed airways. He Compared children who then had tonsils and adenoids removed with those who did not by tracking facial growth and development.
In all cases of severe obstruction of the airway, after the tonsils and adenoids were removed the child’s face and teeth would very quickly to return to a more normal developmental position. Interestingly, many of these same children would no longer suffer from other medical conditions such as ADHD, Autism, Chronic Allergies and Asthma.
While work done by these early pioneers may not have reached the masses, their work demonstrates this important correlation. Today, it is more important than ever to take a holistic approach to these issues, incorporating an orthodontic perspective while evaluating possible food allergies and their affect on tonsils, adenoids and correct breathing.
So yes, many of the kids today do need orthodontics but perhaps more importantly, this should be another wake-up call to show how interconnected our diets are to overall health and well being.
http://www.orthotropics.co.uk/ -- http://www.lsfo.co.uk/
Howard Farran DDS, MBA
March 6th is Happy Dentist's Day!
Happy Birthday Doc Ana and Chiqui!!!
Happy Birthday Doc Ana and Chiqui!!!
Dental remix to Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" from the team at Woodland Dental Center in Puyallup, WA
Vincent (back office assistant) with his happy patient .
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Vincent's Birthday Celebration
Vincent's Birthday Celebration
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knowyourteeth.com Halloween is just around the corner, and although candy consumption is almost unavoidable this time of year, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) wants parents and children to know that there are both good and bad candy options, both of which may find t
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Dr. Red Lagunda's Implant Study Club
Dental Care Christmas Celebration 2013
We provide dental treatment while patients busy watching movies.
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We cater to young kids as young as 2 years old .
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