Sunday, May 18, 2014

My 7-Year-Old Needs Orthodontics! EEK!

This post is the first in a series about alternatives to conventional orthodontics.

Things didn't develop perfectly during my first pregnancy.  Through the wonders of a nutrient-dense diet, my daughter Alina was able to survive in the womb with a half-sized placenta, yet we are still working on a few of the problems that resulted from her being nutrient-starved in the womb.

My daughter has a very fine bone structure. Ever since she was an infant, we have struggled with her having a poor appetite and poor weight gain. Early on, I became concerned that her baby teeth were crowded.  There was just enough space for all of her baby teeth, but there was no extra space at all.

Alina at 4 years old
Alina at 2 years old


Alina at 6 years old
I kept hoping that, through eating a nutrient-dense diet, my daughter's palate and jaw would grow larger to accommodate her adult teeth. Through classical homeopathy, we have been able to correct the imbalances in my daughter's appetite and weight gain, but one thing that hasn't changed is the size of her palate and jaw.  You can see in these recent pictures that her jaw structure is very different from her little brother's (and his head is larger than hers despite the fact that he is 3 years younger).



Alina age 7, Ian age 4: You can see that my daughter's baby teeth fit very tightly in her mouth, while her brother has space between all of his teeth.
My daughter started losing her baby teeth last year. Her new adult teeth will not fit into the spaces left by her baby teeth. Alina has lost three baby teeth so far, and only two adult teeth have emerged.  The third baby tooth she lost was not lost due to pressure from a tooth that was ready to emerge in that location. Rather, it was lost due to pressure from an emerging neighboring tooth that will not fit in the space left by the baby tooth.

Yup, she needs orthodontics! And she now has her first orthodontic appliance.


In upcoming posts, I am excited to share with you what I've learned about orthodontic options, why we're not using conventional braces, and how we are actually encouraging my daughter's jaw to grow to accommodate her adult teeth.

Did you have braces as a child? Do your kids need orthodontics? 

18 comments :

Ami Beshay said...

Yes, I need to know! Both of my first two kids on a standard American diet during pregnancy have very tiny jaws and large teeth. My oldest daughter has already been told to see an orthodontist, but I've been putting this off. Will be looking forward to hearing more about this.

Nancy said...

We are using an orthodontist whose primary goal is improving airways. He uses an FR device to take advantage of a child's growth spurts to direct jaw growth and muscle development. Your teeth look great at the end too, but not without true substantial health benefits. My daughter started at age 10 but we probably should have started sooner.

Tamara said...

Really excited to hear about this! Speaking of nutrient dense diets- any news on the raw CLO?

Anonymous said...

We literally just took our daughter in to a holistic dentist. It's recommended that craniosacral therapy be done with it. My daughter, 9, was almost in hysterics over the idea of getting just the spacers! She's so hypersensitive I had to cancel.. I hope I can bring up her tolerance my force flossing her teeth which she fights too. The plan was a ALF appliance.

Hibber said...

Ooh this is relevant for me! My daughter was also nutrient deprived until age 2.5. Now her teeth are crowded and she needs orthodontics. I look forward to your future posts in this series. Thanks!

Sarah Smith said...

I haven't heard anything further on the raw CLO. I went ahead last winter and bought some of the Sonne's cod liver oil (which is listed as "good" on the WAPF website), just to have some in the house in case of illness. My son LOVES it! The flavor is very mild, just like I remember the old Blue Ice cod liver oil being before they switched to fermented.

Since our immune systems and health have improved so much through homeopathy, we're not taking the CLO daily, but my son does ask to take it periodically. Sometimes he'll ask for it daily for a few days, other times he'll go a week or two without asking for it; I figure he probably knows when he needs it. My daughter asks to take it sometimes too, although she doesn't like it as much as her brother.

Tara said...

As an adult, I'm interested in this after recently reading about dental appliances that help to expand the palate (used by biological dentists as an alternative to conventional orthodontics). I'm eager to hear what you've learned and whether it might be useful for adults as well.

Tara said...

Sarah, does the Sonne's CLO contain anything besides the CLO itself? I have a bottle of Carlson's which appears to also contain lemon oil and natural-source Vitamin E. I would like a product that doesn't have anything extra, especially if it has a mild flavor which can be tolerated without the extras.

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Tara,
The Sonne's has only one ingredient: 100% pure Norwegian cod liver oil. It has such a mild flavor that it doesn't need any flavoring.

You can see the full nutrition label/ingredients here: http://sonnes.com/store/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/5-Cod-Liver-Oil.pdf

Lisa said...

Thanks for doing this series.

Jessica said...

Love to hear what remedies you are giving them!

Ania said...

I grow up in Poland in a country and most of my friends and I had straight teeth. City friends not so much.
My kids 5 and 3 years olds have species between teeth. Specially the younger one.

Malia said...

I find this interesting as my 5.5 yo has very crowded teeth and the dentist starting talking about her needing braces 2-3 yrs ago. However, as open and well-versed I am in alternative health and nutritional practices, I have never in my life heard of orthodontic relapse. I had braces at 15-17 and my sister did too. Neither of us have had a relapse. And no one I know who ever had braces did either. The fact that your husband had that experience is probably relevant for your daughter's situation since that's her dad. But otherwise a sample of one is not much to base this whole phenomenon on.

Sarah Smith said...

There is not a "sample of one" regarding orthodontic relapse. Otherwise there would not be a name for the phenomenon. Try searching google for orthodontic relapse, and you will see that this is a well-known occurrence that affects many people.

Bec Butler said...

Absolutely this is a real problem. My son suffered from tongue thrust, sleep apnoea,bed wetting, incorrect bite,poor posture, weak shoulders etc etc all because of insufficient jaw development. We have used appliance to grow his jaw and palette to accommodate his tongue. Our dentist says to not be in such a hurry, gently over time this can all be resolved (with patience) and NO BRACES. Braces do not accommodate jaw development My son can breathe much better now, no bedwetting, his posture has improved and it's all looking good.
A visit to http://www.mouthmattersbook.com is worth it. Also you can listen to her on this problem on www.oneradionetwork.com

Dani said...

Looking Forward to reading about your experiences. Hope it goes well for both of you !

Tara said...

Which nutrients (and foods containing those nutrients) should we prioritize in a growing child's diet to help promote proper jaw development?

Eugenie Velasquez said...

Best of luck to Alina! I'm sure you have researched all of the options available, and chose the best one to suit Alina. Not everyone is suited for conventional braces, but there are specialized ones that you could avail of, should the traditional ones not suffice. Good luck!

Eugenie Velasquez @ Wynnewood Dental Arts