By Melanie Potock
Babies, toddlers, and older children can develop feeding difficulties—ranging from general picky eating to severe feeding disorders—for a variety of reasons. As a speech-language pathologist who specializes in feeding challenges in children, I peer into a lot of little mouths. In my professional experience, these three “mouth offenders” can shape a child’s willingness to try new foods.
Misaligned teeth: Crowded, missing or blocked teeth that haven’t erupted properly can impact a child’s ability to adequately chew food. The way the teeth contact each other might also indicate misalignment of the jaw. As a child’s face grows, the misalignment can worsen, affecting facial appearance and swallowing patterns.