Five Patterns for Straight Teeth

For Straight Teeth all children need to have:

  • Lips together without strain
  • Tongue resting on the roof of the mouth
  • Teeth together or slightly apart
  • Breathing through the nose
  • No lip movement while swallowing

Why Teeth Grow Crooked?

The teeth grow crooked because of the unfavorable facial growth due to an open mouth posture?

For Normal Growth of the Face and Jaws in a Growing Child:

  • The tongue is the driving force behind the correct development of the upper jaw and the entire face
  • When the lips are together and the teeth are together or slightly apart, the tongue will be positioned on the roof of the mouth
  • There will be a balance of forces from the tongue pushing on the teeth from the inside and lips and cheeks from the outside
  • The upper jaw will then form around the tongue and have a correct shape and size
  • Every time a child swallows correctly with the tongue to the roof of the mouth, there will be a considerable amount of force from the tongue on the upper jaw
  • This force will shape the upper jaw and stimulate its forward growth which is a favorable growth of the jaws and face
  • As a result, a broad face and a broad upper jaw will develop with sufficient room for all adult teeth
  • The teeth will grow in straight

If a child’s mouth is open most of the time as in a mouth breathing child,

  • The tongue drops down from the roof of the mouth
  • The balance between the forces of the tongue and lips and cheeks will be altered
  • The tongue will no longer support the upper jaw which will cause it to collapse and grow vertically which is an unfavorable growth

As a result, a long, narrow face with a receded chin and a small and narrow upper jaw will develop with not enough room for all adult teeth. The teeth will grow in crooked.

If a child swallows incorrectly (reverse or infantile swallow),

  • The tongue will not be positioned to the roof of the mouth but rather in between the front or back teeth
  • Instead of exerting  the force that normally would shape the upper jaw, the tongue will be pushing against the teeth and moving them out of alignment
  • The teeth will grow in crooked

The shape of the lower jaw will follow the shape of the upper jaw. Unless open mouth posture is corrected, unfavorable facial changes will continue throughout life. That is why, any orthodontic treatment will relapse and straight teeth will not stay straight unless retainers are worn indefinitely.