Maxillary growth and maturation during infancy and early childhood.
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OBJECTIVE: To describe maxillary growth and maturation during infancy and early childhood. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Serial cephalograms (N=210) of 30 subjects (15 females and 15 males) from the Bolton-Brush Growth Study were analyzed. Each subject had a series of six consecutive cephalograms taken between birth and 5 years of age, as well as one adult cephalogram. Twelve maxillary measurements (eight linear and four angular) and seven landmarks were used to characterize maxillary growth. Maturation of the linear measures was described as a percentage of adult status. RESULTS: Maxillary and anterior cranial base size increased in both sexes between 0.4 and 5 years of age. The linear anteroposterior (AP) measures (S-SE, SE-N, ANS-PNS) increased almost as much as the vertical measures (S-PNS, SE-PNS, N-A, N-ANS) over the first 5 years. After 5 years of age there was significantly more vertical than AP growth. The size and shape changes that occurred were greatest between 0.4 and 1 years; yearly velocities decelerated regularly thereafter. Overall linear growth changes that occurred between 0.5 and 5 years of age (a span of 4.5 years) were generally greater than the changes in maxillary growth that occurred between 5 and 16 years (a span of 11 years). The linear measures showed a gradient of maturation, with the AP measures being more mature than the vertical measures. Male maxillae were less mature than female maxillae at every age. CONCLUSIONS: The maxilla undergoes its greatest postnatal growth change during infancy and early childhood, when relative AP growth and maturation are emphasized.