You Take My Breath Away!

We all like a good looking man or woman. And certainly if George Clooney or Liam Neeson passed you on the street I’m sure you would feel a little breathless. Emma Watson, Jennifer Laurence or Alexandra Daddario, all make the list of the most beautiful women in the world.

But what makes a good looking man or woman? 

jennifer lawrence
courtesy of wallpaper access
liam neeson
courtesy of wallpaper caves

According to Wikipedia –

“physical attractiveness is the degree to which a persons physical features are considered aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. Men, on average tend to attracted to women who have a youthful appearance and exhibit features of  symmetrical face”

A good looking face is determined by a strong sturdy chin developed jaws, high cheekbones, good lips, correct nose size and straight teeth. When a face develops correctly, it follows that the teeth will be straight. 

Every child has the potential to have a beautiful face which can accommodate 32 teeth. 

But many don’t. Why then are so many parents like me paying thousands of Euros for orthodontic work for their children which goes on for years.  

Crooked teeth are a phenomena of the last 400 years or thereabouts. If one visits the natural History museum and examine the skull structure od pre historic man , wide facial structures and straight teeth would be evident.

Over eighty ears ago , Dentist Dr Weston Price , Dentist and dental researcher, visited many primitive and isolated groups such as Aborigines, Gaelic people, Swiss people, Eskimos, North American Indians and Amaoris. His findings are published  in a highly informative book entitled’ Nutrition and physical degeneration’. He observed perfect dental arches, minimal tooth decay , high immunity to TB and overall excellent health in those groups of people who ate their indigenous foods. But when theses groups were introduced 

l to a modernized diet of angel food cake ,white bread canned vegetables, sweetened fruit juices etc , first generation children became mouth breathers and their immunity from the diseases of civilization reduced dramatically. 

Diet has a major impact on the development of the face when young. This act of chewing and swallowing is hugely important. Too soft a diet does not allow tongue development . too processed a diet causes a child to breathe heavier and thus leads to mouth breathing.

Mouth breathing can occur also due to allergies (another modern phenomenon) and recurrent infections.

When a child mouth breathes this causes craniofacial changes which negatively impacts on his or her health, 60% of the growth of the face takes place during the first four years of life and 90% takes place by the age of 12. Development of the lower Jaw continues until around 18.

From a facial development point of view, if a child or teenager continues to mouth breathe over these years His or her face will grow downwards and will narrow. His/her Jaw will set back from their natural position, onto his/her airways resulting in narrow airways. 

His / her nose may look too big for his /her face because the Jaws do not come forward enough, 

picture of young teenage girl with nasal obstruction before and after surgery
courtesy of Dr. John Mew.

For correct craniofacial growth to take place, early intervention with nasal breathing and tongue posture is essential. In the words of Dr Carol Schreiner,”The deleterious effects of nasal obstruction are virtually complete by puberty so the window of opportunity is relatively brief, delay in intervention may result in unsuccessful orthodontic treatment which may require orthognathic surgery at an older age.”

Change is possible and for this reason alone I am grateful to Patrick Mc Keown for introducing me to Buteyko and helping me understand what was happening to my children and how to change it for the better. So yes, three out of my four children have required orthodontic intervention over the years and yes it is costing a small fortune but at least I hope their health will the better of it. 

As regards beauty and attractiveness thankfully “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” Other attributes that are equally important such as personality, attitude, kindness. One may not even continue to like or love someone ‘who took their breath away’ when the initially met as they had the personality of a damp squid! 

Its complicated.

Happy Valentines Day!