Today, we have a big problem. We have excellent options to treat disease,
but we don’t know how to prevent them. The best example of this is our approach to
crooked teeth. We now have the knowledge and clinical protocols
to prevent orthodontic braces. Oral function plays a critical role in developing
straight teeth. Today, if we see kids early enough, correct
their diet, their breathing, their tongue function, then teeth will go straight naturally. There are three factors to jaw growth that
need to be re-integrated into a preventative model of dental care. Nasal breathing plays a huge factor on whether
we grow straight teeth. We take more than 20,000 breaths a day and
each breath through the nose exerts a force on a child’s upper jaw. Correct tongue posture which should be against
the roof of the mouth acts to expand and widen the upper jaw as well as posturing the neck
muscles. And the last factor is the facial muscles
where lip sealed chewing and oral habits provide the boundaries in which our smile is made. You can think of our teeth as being in a game
of football. They’re being kicked around by all these forces
and our smile is the end result. Kids with broad, straight teeth, have broad,
stable bone structures that support their airways, spinal column, and brain. These functional processes continue right
throughout our lives. Our tongue posture and breathing control the
autonomic nervous system and sleep cycles. Dental diseases are chronic and long-term
processes. With a deeper knowledge of the body, we can
see how tooth decay, gum disease and even wisdom teeth impactions are all lifestyle-influenced. And we have the power to prevent them. Problems that occur in the mouth flow on to
the rest of the body. We need a united, preventative approach to
health care that understands chronic disease from a developmental and environmental perspective. The dental practice needs to be our mode of
preventing oral disease so that the next generation of kids live without the burden of dental
disease.