Good Example Of Development Of Orofacial Area Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Children, Development, Dentistry, Feeding, Health, Food, Birth, Rhetoric

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2023/04/10

According to Malina, Bar-Or, and Bouchard (2004), development refers to the process of differentiation and specialisation of the embryonic stem cells into different types of cells, organs, and tissues. The formation of the orofacial structures mainly takes place in the prenatal development stage primarily in the embryonic period and the early foetal period. Further development continues after birth until the baby acquires full maturity.
Neural factors greatly influence the postnatal growth of the orofacial structures. It is also mainly characterised by the growth at the secondary growth sites of the temporomandibular joint. Other structures forming part of the orofacial structures also develop as the baby continues to grow. Besides, the behavioural features change as the baby continues to grow. The functioning of the various orofacial structures and other structures also improve.
The feeding techniques of the newborn baby tend to be basic owing to the immature orofacial structures of the baby. The development of the feeding skills is a complex process (Le Révérend, Edelson & Loret, 2014). It relies on the interplay of various factors that include the environment, the developing nervous system, and the physiological systems (Rogers & Arvedson, 2005). The newborn baby mainly feeds through suckling and swallowing. The two techniques rely on the reflex action attributed to the stimulation and coordination of the muscular system of the orofacial structures. As a matter of fact, the newborn baby can suckle the mother’s milk and swallow it. Just by touching the baby’s lips with the nipple, the baby gets stimulated and opens its mouth by default for the nipple (“Breastfeeding: Helping Your Baby Attach Correctly,” n.d.). It is important to note that suckling is the only feeding technique that the baby is capable of using immediately after birth. Therefore, the range of food substances that the baby is capable of feeding on is rare. Indeed, the baby can only feed on liquid food at this stage. The true suckling starts at about 18 to 24 weeks during the gestation period (Arvedson, 2014). Other techniques are acquired as the baby’s oral structures develop. In the process, the baby’s feeding techniques improve, and the baby learns how to feed on various food substances.
After birth, the baby covers other various developmental milestones regarding feeding skills. To start with, during the period ranging from birth to 4-6 months, the baby can maintain a visual fixation on the food. During 6 to 9 months after birth, the baby can sit independently for a short time and self-induce oral stimulation by mouthing hands and toys. The baby also tends to feed in a more upright position than during the preceding period (Delaney & Arvedson, 2008). The next stage of development is at the age of 9 to 12 months. In this stage, the children tend to eat mashed foods and exhibit a rotary jaw action while chewing foods. Another significant milestone in the child’s development is the gaining of the ability to chew a broad range of foods and to swallow foods with the lips closed. Therefore, the baby can feed on solid foods at this stage. This development takes place 18 to 24 months after the birth. During the 24 to 36 months after birth, the child exhibits circulatory jaw rotations and the ability to chew with the lips closed.
Another significant development of the orofacial structures with implications on feeding skills is teething. Teething starts from 3 to 7 months (Woodford & Griffith, 2012). Various symptoms signify the onset of teething in children. However, believes about the symptoms of teething vary from one person to another. For instance, a survey conducted by Wake, Hesketh, and Allen (1999) shows that nearly 99% of parents in Australia believe that teething causes problems. The lower central incisors are usually the first teeth to appear. The upper central incisors emerge in the seventh month. The baby tends to cry quite often at this stage due to pain associated with the formation of the teeth. Therefore, it is recommended that the baby should be fed cold foods to relieve the discomfort. Between 9 to 16 months after birth, the upper lateral incisors appear. This is followed by the emergence of the lower lateral incisors. The emergence of the teeth usually occurs in pairs such that two teeth emerge on the right and the left of the jaws. At 13 to 19 months, the first molars begin to emerge in which case the top and the bottom molars appear nearly at the same time. The emergence of upper and lower canines, the lower second molars, and the upper second molars consecutively follows the appearance of the first molars. The baby develops a full set of 20 primary teeth in the period between 2 to 3 years (De, 2015). As the child grows, his/her jaw and facial bones grow, hence create space to enable the growth of permanent adult teeth to replace the primary teeth that are shed. Teething determines the feeding skills of the child. For instance, chewing and munching occur at the stage after birth when teeth have emerged to enable the baby chew or munch the food.
Another functional change in the orofacial structure is the development of speech. Speech is a verbal means of communication. Children employ crying as the first verbal means of communication. They then begin to babble words before eventually learning how to apply speech effectively. The ages at which children learn proper verbal communication differ from one individual to another. Like in the case of the development of feeding skills, the development of speech is influenced by neural and environmental factors and other developing orofacial factors. The development of speech in a child depends on the child’s ability to control of the jaws and lip movement. According to Green, Moore and Reilly (2002), the non-uniform development of articulatory control constrains the speech motor development.
In conclusion, orofacial development does not end after birth. Instead, the process continues postpartum to enable the baby undertake various activities. The main functional developments that take place as a result of the postnatal development of orofacial structures include feeding and speech. The scope of feeding skills the baby can apply increase as postnatal development continues.
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