White civilized man with small jaws. African tribal man with big jaws, wide dental arch.
It is not the genetics but what is happening to us right from birth in modern civilized society that is causing poor jaw development.
Science has found that genetic difference between different races of humans is surprisingly small, even between Caucasians and Africans.
However variations between individual facial skeletons taken from a single ‘civilized’ population are often large, making it more probably that it is the environment that effects jaw development.
Researcher found that deep bites occurred nine times more often in a sample of privileged Indian children than in their close relatives who were poor.
Weston Price was wrong in regards to the cause of malocclusion
sorry to all the Weston Price enthusiast out there but when it comes to jaw development & cause of crooked teeth, it has little to do with nutrition or the nutrition your parents grew up on…etc. But everything to do with your facial muscles & jaw usage.
I had a health conscious Asian mother who raised me on a good diet with plenty of seafood, far from the SAD diet, but I still developed malocclusion.
And I’ve just seen too many convincing case studies that points to the muscle as the main cause not nutrition.
Ancient Ancestors and many tribal people today exhibit great skull development with wide dental arches, most of them do not have access to butter oil & cod liver oil.
Do animals in the wild have access to butter oil to get their perfect set of jaws and teeth?
Do you think these individuals had access to high nutrition?
These individuals need more resources. Food ,water,education, shelter,etc but it turns out orthodontics is not one of them.
It is not nutrition creating these beautiful wide dental arches. It is their facial muscles working as nature intended that is sculpting the palate and face. Muscles that develop from proper usage of the jaws(chewing). The tongue is nature’s palate expander and the muscle that guides the face to develop forwards. Therefore in order for the tongue to do this very important role of guiding the growth and shaping the palate, the kid has to keep his mouth closed and swallow correctly. Sounds too simple but in the industrialized world majority of the children leave their mouths open 80% of the time. When jaws are left open child will develop receding chin and poor facial appearance.
Why Rich Kids Develop Teeth Crowding
In short Rich Kids are more likely to leave their mouths open and swallow improperly, here’s why.
- Industrialized families, the mothers begin using more bottle feeding, which forces babies to open their mouth and leave the tongue low in the mouth and let air in so they can get the milk to come out of the bottle, this begins teaching them to oral breath instead of the mother’s nipple which requires suction (negative pressure), so they are forced to keep the mouth completely closed and only nasal breath.
- Natural breast feeding works out the lip muscles and trains kids to press their tongue to the roof of the mouth, lip muscle helps the child to keep lip sealed,mouth closed posture. While the action of sucking on the nipple is actually giving the child a facial work out and encouraging their jaws to grow forwards and wide.
- In modern lifestyle babies are fed “mushed”, pureed baby foods before they are ready. It take completely different type of reflex to properly swallow solid food, this does not properly develop till they are at least 12-15 months old. When we prematurely introduce them to soft foods by force feeding (spoon feeding) we accidentally teach the child to swallow just like they are still sucking on the breast which is tongue between teeth and sucking on the dentition using their lips and cheeks, to suckle the food down. The proper swallow is tongue against the roof of the palate and no activity from the facial muscles, this creates forward, outward force on the maxilla which helps to develop the face forwards. But during the improper swallow the tongue is too low and does not provide any support for the maxilla, overtime the outward forces from the facial muscles begin to crush the palate and this disrupts facial development. Once child learns this type of swallow it is very difficult to retrain, it is estimated 80-90% of the modern population has some form of infantile swallow.
- Not only does the child learn bad swallowing pattern, but the resting tongue posture becomes altered to tongue between teeth posture instead of tongue against the upper palate. This again provides no support for maxilla and since our posture is affecting the bones and tissue majority of the day, an altered posture has great consequences on our facial form over time.
- The nail in the coffin1: Soft, high nutrition diet throughout childhood causes the jaw muscles to be weak which further lengthens the face and causes open mouth posture. Under used jaws will not develop to its full potential. The only different between the white man above and the African is that the white man had access to rich soft foods while the African had wild game meat he had to chew through everyday, causing his jaws to develop out of use & necessity.
- Nail in the coffin2: indoor living greatly causes chances of allergies and blocked noses which forces oral breathing. Indoor pets could be very damaging to the child if they are allergic to it.
Swallow test: next time your eating try to swallow your food by keeping your teeth in contact, and just using your tongue only against your palate. If this feels awkward for you, you have improper swallow and it is the reason why you needed orthodontics as a child and you still need to wear your retainers or your teeth begin to get crooked again.
I had to literally re-train myself to swallow properly. It is not easy and I still practice daily.
Basically when your child swallows there should be no outer movement of their lips, cheeks, or chin. If you see any of those muscles tense up during the swallow, they require re-training. Or they will require orthodontics sooner or later.
My mother fed me soft baby foods out of love so that I get good nutrition from ease of digestion and I don’t choke on the food, however what the child requires is facial muscle workout by real chewing. Soft food has real damaging effects on the child in the long run.
Number 1 destroyer of facial beauty and cause of small mouth, and crowded teeth is open mouth posture.
Again the main causes are weak muscles and allergies.
Weak muscle because child was bottle fed too much, & given too much soft foods.
When jaw muscles are weak, it becomes too weak to hold up the lower jaw. The mouth begins to hang open, especially during sleep.
As a parent if open mouth posture has already begun, you need to correct this at all costs by giving them reminders, psychological pressure to change this posture.
And begin giving the child stuff to chew. Make them chew gum. Tougher snack / foods. Perhaps beef jerky. Chewy bread. Take out all liquid , mush , pureed calorie from diet. Replace fruit juice with real fruit for example. Water over juices as juice will ruin appetite and causes less chewing.
We should all have wide palate, a smile that is exquisite no matter the age, just look at below.
See how wide that palate is, do you think she had access to butter oil, cod liver oil, and plenty of perfect nutrition as a child? (as taught by Weston Price Foundations?)
This is hard to believe, and certainly populations from indigenous or third world countries do not have access to these special foods yet they display perfect set of teeth and superior facial development than our modern humans.
I believe the main difference is that their parents didn’t have access to bottle feeding. So they were entirely breast fed, which gave them strong muscles to naturally trained them to keep their lips sealed and mouth closed.
Their parents didn’t have access to mush, pureed foods which meant they were directly introduced to hard, chewy foods right after breast feeding. Which meant they didn’t accidentally learn to suckle the food down, they learned to chew and swallow properly with teeth together and tongue on the roof. At the same time training the jaw muscles from young age.
Growing up they ate a much tougher fibrous diet that allowed them proper jaw development and strong muscles to keep their mouth closed which ensures that the face develops forwards.
combined with the fact that they lived more outside, less pollution or bad foods that could cause allergies they were less likely to develop blocked noses that could jeopardize nasal breathing.
With proper tongue against the palate and lip sealed posture, the teeth grew in straight because this posture causes teeth to have no other place to erupt except all around the tongue which creates the beautiful U arch, the shape of the tongue.
If you are a parent I recommend Baby Led Weaning to learn about how to transition from breast feeding to introducing solid foods. Their motto is “The mush stops here.”
The child has to naturally learn proper swallowing patterns and oral posture, it is much harder to correct later on. Nature intended this to happen, but we are disrupting this natural learning process by spoon feeding them mushed foods.
A child doesn’t want mushed foods at 6 months old, they need to continue to be breast fed till they are ready for solid foods (at least 12 months, probably better later), let the child lead this process.
A child will have far superior facial development if breast fed till late as possible and when they themselves decide they want to start chewing solid foods. That is the whole premise of Baby Led Weaning, you let the baby decide when they want to stop sucking milk and transition to chewing and swallowing REAL food. none of this pureed crap.
Interesting Note: Michael Jordan was breast fed for 3 years.
This ensured he learned the proper swallow and mouth closed posture with nasal breathing which led to good facial development, no need for orthodontics, subsequently good facial form leads to greater athletic potentials.
Most great athletes are pretty handsome / attractive individuals.
Children in third world countries with very little access in proper nutrition still has good facial development, jaws, and teeth perhaps better than the privileged kids. It is purely anecdotal to assume malocclusion is caused by nutrition. I have yet to seen any hard evidence but I have seen very stark evidence that suggests it is the muscle usage. It’s not the vitamins but the hardness of the diet along with introducing mushed baby foods and bottle feeding that seems to cause the biggest disruption in proper development.
We are messing things up greatly by these modern ease of living inventions, the problem begins right at birth. To raise the healthiest baby possible go back to primitive ways, not in nutritious sense but think in terms of the muscles in the face. Avoid bottle feeding, pacifiers, mushed baby foods, let the baby feed themselves, and give them food that they can actually chew, they will find the visceral experience of chewing and swallowing on their own much more enjoyable than having spoonful of mush shoved into their mouth.
Anytime mush food is given to a baby, there is a chance they will accidentally figure out a way to suckle the food down and develop tongue between teeth posture & swallowing because this is the way they suckle milk from the breast. But with real solid food they are forced to learn proper adult swallowing with tongue against the upper palate, gagging reflex is one way they will learn, if you are worried again reference the book Baby Led Weaning.
The two different posture and swallowing pattern has profound impact on the face of the child. Proper posture and swallowing pattern will ensure a child with short, forward face with great jawline, wide palate, and great facial aesthetics with broad features. With wrong posture child will develop narrow palate with teeth crowding and longer unaesthetic faces with small jawline.
The child needs to have some gaps between child teeth before adult teeth erupts, if not you’re looking at early signs of trouble. It is best to treat early than later.
I am currently working on a book with Mike Mew so we can get this information out there for the parents. So much unnecessary suffering can be prevented when we finally understand the cause of this modern crisis of small jaws & teeth crowding and the prevention for it.
Thanks to great life-long research done by the inquisitive John Mew, their is hope for new generations and a possibility where malocclusion becomes a thing of the past, and orthodontics becomes an obsolete profession.