Okay, so I know this sounds crazy and a lot of people will dismiss this but hear me out! The more you read I guarantee this will make more sense.
Nobody wants crooked teeth right? A beautiful smile is key, we communicate with each other through body language and believe me a smile can go a long way. Orthodontics is becoming increasingly popular in both adults and children. A lovely smile is usually accompanied by a square like face with prominent cheekbones and jawbones with straight teeth, good skeletal posture. These are the faces that draw us to famous actors.
One man, Weston A. Price who practised in the 1930’s had an incredible and very sensible theory. That crooked teeth are a skeletal deformity resulting from poor diet. He travelled all around the world and found groups of people with beautiful wide arches with no crowding of teeth and little tooth decay. These people had 2 things in common:
- They were not exposed to a modern diet- including sugar, white flour, vegetable oils and canned foods.
- They ate a diet rich in traditionally prepared foods, which included some animal fats.
A healthy traditional diet was always rich in fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are thought to be the essential ingredients that give people their outstanding teeth, jaws and overall health. Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin D, A, K2 helps the body to place mineral into bones and teeth, which is crucial in the process of jaw growth. When our teeth are crooked, it often means our upper and lower jaw bones have poorly grown. Upper and lower jawbones do more than house teeth; they shape our airways, vessels and skeletal base for the brain. Dental school taught me how to address these issues but not prevent them.
Seeing countless patients needing braces was getting frustrating. Parents of children would often ask, “Why does the jaw grow this way?” The awkward response would be genetics.
After being inspired by Weston Price and other research papers, I started to notice the correlation of poor diet and poorly developed arches myself. I would ask parents of children about their diet, and in almost all my results, those who were having an unhealthy diet also had poorly formed upper and lower jaws, which resulted in crooked teeth.
Standard practice today is to wait until a child is 12/13y once their jaw has fully grown, extract their premolar teeth and fit them with braces that would straighten their crowded dental arches. Waiting until the jaw is fully formed to correct teeth position wastes time, which could be useful in helping the jaw develop properly in more natural ways. Jaws that aren’t developing properly are a sign that other parts of our skull aren’t developing properly either, including our airways. Airways are clearly essential to process oxygen. Our body needs oxygen more than any nutrient.
It is becoming increasingly common that children are mouth breathing. This can produce a low tongue position, incorrect swallow pattern, overdeveloped lower jaw and underdeveloped upper jaw. We need to be encouraging children to carry out breathing exercises and to encourage them to breathe through their nose rather than their mouths. Breathing exercises help the flow of air through the nasal passages which help the upper jaw to keep growing outwards and helps to lower and broaden the palate. Airways are clearly essential to process oxygen. Our body needs oxygen more than any nutrient.
Its true sometimes having undeveloped jaws are genetic. DNA plays a huge factor in how our bodies develop and in the overall state of our health. DNA is more like a blueprint that our bodies interpret rather than a set computer code. The best way to make sure our bodies interpret these directions in a healthy way is to give them the right nutrients and resources to grow in a favourable way.
I always tell my patients to look at the structure of the jaws and teeth like a house. We start building with the foundations, the walls, the roof and the last thing is the interior. The teeth are like our interior. The body builds the jaw first and builds it to the best it can with the resources it has and then it installs the teeth. If the jaws are not correctly aligned, then the only way the teeth can come out is crooked.