Family Dental Tendencies… Jaw Size


Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ve got teeth like my dad’s or mom’s side of the family?” Genetics play a big role in the size and shape of not only the teeth, but the upper and lower jaw. I would like to focus your attention on your family tendencies of jaw size. Seniors know the generation that has passed on and see their own children and their grandchildren’s facial appearances. You may see when looking at all the people in your family, a square jaw, a protruding lower jaw, a retruded upper jaw, a wide smile, a little bird-like mouth, or big teeth in a little mouth. Did you know that by the time a child is around seven years old the basic pattern for their dental arches and their relationship is established. There are studies that document that a properly proportioned size of both the upper and lower jaws, and their correct relationship, and “straight” teeth, are great predictors of success in life? I’m talking about good health, good self-esteem, scholastic success, being socially adjusted, and often being financial successful. As I have studied the development of the airway and sleep apnea in both adults and children I have gained an even greater appreciation for the development of the dental arches. The message I want you to take home is this; you don’t have to go to a foreign country to do humanitarian service. The opportunity is all around you to better the lives of those you love. Teach, stress, or pay for, if needed, the professionally guided facial growth and development of your grandchildren, or your neighbor’s children. Take them to the dentist or orthodontist before the age of 7 and change a life. Adult orthodontic treatment or jaw surgery is an option at any age.