330 Burwood Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia

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Child Jaw Development

How can a dentist help my child's growth?

We don’t just see your children to check and clean their baby teeth. A child’s mouth grows primarily in their first 12 years of life. The dentist is likely one of the health professionals which your child will see most often during this stage of life. We can assess not just your children’s teeth, but also their breathing and assess any developmental issues which could affect your child’s jaw and skeletal growth.

child being attended to by Hawthorn Dentist

When should my child see the dentist?

We (and the Australian Dental Association) generally recommend that your children visit the dentist as early as 18 months old. An early visit to the dentist helps your child become familiar with the dental clinic, the dental chair and hopefully a toothbrush! We try to make these first visits as fun and easy for your child as possible, so that they grow up with a positive view of looking after their teeth.

We can help to assess any problems which could affect the growth of your child’s teeth and jaws. These include possible airway or breathing problems, issues with your child’s bite, developmental problems with their teeth or even tooth infections. Early intervention to address any potential problems may decrease the likelihood of your child requiring teeth extracted, braces or, or even major surgery in the future.

child jaw development

What things might be affecting my child's growth?

Although children’s teeth generally are all lost around 12 years of age, they are important during the time they are around in your child’s mouth. They allow children to eat and chew just as adult teeth will, as well as maintain space for the adult teeth to grow into.

If children’s teeth are not well maintained, they may lead to toothache and even infections which may affect the development of the underlying adult teeth. This may include weakening or malformation of the adult teeth, which may result in significantly more treatment being required well into adult life.

Losing baby teeth prematurely may also lead to insufficient space for adult teeth to grow into, leading to crowded or crooked teeth, damage to adult teeth as growing teeth ‘collide’ as they grow abnormally.

child jaw development

What things might be affecting my child's growth?

Many problems which we see early may have long term effects on your child’s growth. In particular, children who snore, grind their teeth, have restless sleep, or wet the bed into older ages can have a sleep breathing disorder which may affect the future growth and development of their jaws. If not addressed, there are many significant effects on your child’s general health, such as recurrent middle ear infections (otitis media), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, increased blood pressure, and even reduced IQ! There is even some evidence which indicates that early intervention could lead to your child having a reduced chance of requiring corrective surgery later in life. We work closely with our trusted paediatric ear nose and throat specialists to ensure that these problems do not go unnoticed and allow your child to thrive throughout their formative years.

We can help to find and address the cause of any of these problems which can affect not only your child’s teeth and jaws, but more importantly their overall wellbeing!

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