Orthodontics is in a period of the dark ages, where quacks maybe right and authorities may be quacks.
Research into the primary tenets of orthodontics was conducted in the 1940s, a time of notoriously poor medical understanding.
Moreover, the primary aims of orthodontics are totally divorced from the desires of most people. Yes, some people would like absurdly straight teeth for cosmetic reasons. But as long as we are talking about cosmetics, what about facial characteristics? Don't we have the ability to influence these traits in young children? And yet, bringing up this possibility brings up the stigma of "mewing" quackery and association with incels.
But it's true, isn't it? Unlike acupunture or homeopathy, the SCIENCE behind manipulating soft tissue to influence bone development is sound, going back to Moss's functional matrix and Wolff's law.
I have yet to find a single orthodontist who says that what Mew claims is fundamentally quackery. Only that there is insufficient evidence to support it, which Mew himself concedes.
Why can't we do the studies?
But we all know why…
Because if we do the studies and it comes out the the "mew view" is right, that means we've been fucking up children's faces. We've been removing teeth to make kids' faces smaller and giving them all kinds of problems.
We've been giving them TMJ.
Giving them breathing problems and sleep apnea (and with it heart disease, cancer and depression)
Giving them bruxism
Giving them tooth decay from mouth breathing
AND giving them unpleasing profiles, but honestly who really cares about aesthetics at this point
This is such a scary thought. Why in the world isn't this being talked about in the main stream?
Look, this isn't about Mew is totally right. He does some bad things like giving adults false hope that they can remodel their faces to look like models. He makes wacky appliances that may or may not work.
It's not even support for his core premise, that all tooth occlusion is environmental. We know, that teeth grow in genetically determined patterns from looking at twins. The question is whether it's ONLY genetic. Whether pathology is set in stone from birth. And I think it's almost certainly not. Were our ancestors roaming around the savannah with TMJ? Were they endowed with tiny little jaws that made it hard to breathe?
We need to start having a conversation and figure out how we can design studies to test the "science" behind orthodontics. To think about the problems of occlusion and tooth growth in terms of not just in terms of the mouth but the skull.
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