What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Majority of children now have crooked teeth, which is evident from five years of age and is often attributed to hereditary factors. However, rather than blame genetics for crooked teeth and poor jaw development, modern research has produced evidence that points to other causes. Mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing and thumb sucking (known as incorrect myofunctional habits) are the real causes. Allergies, asthma and an open mouth posture also contribute to incorrect jaw development. Growing up, most of us have had one or more of these myofunctional problems, which may have been the cause of incorrect dental and facial development.

Malocclusion (Misaligned teeth)

Teeth do not become crooked by chance and the most up to date evidence reveals most orthodontic problems are the result of incorrect jaw development. This restricted development, which can be detected at an early age, limits the space available for erupting teeth and prevents them from erupting into their ideal natural position. Traditional orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth, or malocclusion as it is professionally known, is often delayed until all permanent teeth have come through at around 12 years of age and unfortunately, braces and extracting teeth in teenage years does not solve the underlying health problems. The children pictured above are only four to five years of age and you can already see their baby teeth are crowded. Consequently, there won’t be enough space for all the permanent teeth to fit into the correct alignment. It is not because the teeth are too big, but more a case that the jaws have not developed sufficiently. Since the permanent teeth are bigger, they will not have room to fit into the smaller jaws. Traditional Orthodontics overlooks these causes and only focuses on forcing the teeth to be straighter. A lack of sufficient space has led to the common practice of healthy permanent teeth being extracted, which can result in a sunken-in facial profile and in time the appearance of ageing more than expected. This detrimental approach also often leads to the orthodontic crowding returning, unless a wire is glued permanently onto the teeth, because the underlying causes have not been addressed.

Health & Development

If a child is a mouth breather their tongue won’t rest in the roof of the mouth, which often results in an underdeveloped upper jaw and restricted forward growth of the lower jaw. Along with the concern of crowding, incorrect development of the upper jaw can affect a child’s breathing by restricting airway. Early evaluation for the signs of poor jaw development is increasingly becoming a treatment option more Dentists, Orthodontists and Medical practitioners are implementing. As well as affecting jaw and facial development, the medical profession now recognises that mouth breathing is abnormal and is also one of the main contributors of Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) problems. Symptoms include snoring, morning tiredness and learning difficulties with extreme cases stopping breathing at times during the night. This is the medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea – OSA. If left untreated, SDB can lead to significant and serious health problems that cause poorer quality of life in adulthood.

Symptoms commonly associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) can include:

  • Developmental and behavioural problems
  • Snoring
  • Gasping
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
  • Interrupted sleep


Treatment Goals

The goal of Myobrace is to obtain natural development of the jaws and teeth. With good compliance, Myobrace treatment can offer more than just straighter teeth.

  • Straighter teeth
  • Correct alignment of the teeth and jaws
  • Minimal or no use of braces
  • No need for extraction of healthy teeth
  • Reduced need for fixed retainers
  • Improved facial development
  • Improved overall health
  • Develop to genetic potential

Health Benefits

Regular illnesses that may interfere with use of the Myobrace appliance can seriously delay treatment and prevent a successful outcome. As well as aligning the teeth, jaws and improving facial development, Myobrace pre-orthodontic treatment can provide additional health benefits by addressing issues relating to airway dysfunction as well as teaching children about good dietary habits, allowing them to reach their full genetic potential.