Could your child benefit?

As early as 18 months of age you may notice some of these signs and symptoms:

Questionnaire

Does your toddler or child:

Select from the following:

Imagine a Strong Jaw, Healthy Airway, and Optimal Facial Development.

Breathing is one of the most vital functions of the human body. It is well documented that mouth breathing adults are more likely to experience sleep-disordered breathing, fatigue, decreased productivity, and poorer quality of life than those who nasal-breathe.  This includes mouth breathing during sleep.

It may surprise you to know that any of these conditions are the possible result of an issue that, believe it or not, could be resolved by help from a dentist. Indeed, traditional dentistry is overlooking a critical factor in your child’s health that may be causing not just these specific conditions but may be setting up your child for greatly compromised health and functionality moving forward in their life.

We at Airway Center are firm believers in the value of approaching your child’s health through natural orthodontics, which means that their teeth aren’t merely meant to be kept clean and healthy, but may be the most direct path toward not only resolving a variety of debilitating symptoms, but also help them to thrive in a way that may otherwise not be possible.

By age 1 we are able to evaluate the direction of growth of a child’s upper and lower jaw structure and determine their future development trajectory.

When the upper jaw is under-developed it leads to a lower jaw that is trapped back and a growing tongue that is growing into an airway space is not growing in size at the same rate as the child’s physical growth.  This results in sleep disordered breathing, disrupted sleep cycles, a drop in IQ, and many other health compromises.  Some factors that affect development include: the hardness of the food we eat, the amount of time spent breathing through our nose or mouth, and the position of our tongue at rest.  Even doing all the right things, most children are born with under-developed upper and lower jaw structures that put them at risk.

When babies nurse they breath through their nose.  If they have underdeveloped jaw structures they will breath through their mouth at night or during the day when not nursing.  Mouth breathing is a sign of a compromised airway space.  The more a child mouth breathes, the more their jaws will grow downward instead of forward which leads to a more compromised airway and increased need to breath through their mouth.  By developing their jaws at an early age as possible we are able to help re-establish nasal breathing by giving room in the mouth for the tongue and improving their direction of growth.

The longer a child grows in a less than ideal direction, the more likely they will be to have crowded teeth, sleep apnea, and other health concerns.  The sooner the direction of growth is optimized the better the long term results will be for the child’s future health.

By beginning early treatment as soon as 18 months of age we will help improve your child’s airway space by guiding forward jaw growth for the upper and lower jaws.  This will help to make more space from the back of their tongue to the back of their throat.  More breathing space means better quality of sleep, better development and improved facial structure.  The diagram on the right shows some of the common facial features associated with different growth trajectories.

Below is an example of a child who went from being a nose breather to a mouth breather and you can see how his facial development and airway development was affected.  If you notice your toddler or child with their lips parted when at rest, please call an Airway Center Office to schedule an evaluation.

Excerpted from:

In children, the harmful effects of mouth breathing are far greater, since it is during these formative years that breathing mode helps to shape the orofacial structures and airways. Children whose mouth breathing is left untreated for extended periods of time, can set the stage for lifelong respiratory problems. These resultant craniofacial alterations associated with mouth breathing can significantly aggravate or increase the risk of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in both children and adults. There is a lack of awareness regarding the negative impact of airway obstruction via mouth breathing on normal facial growth and physiologic health; and as a result, may be confused for (ADD) and hyperactivity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is linked to a variety of sleep problems. Children and adults behave differently as a result of sleepiness. Adults usually become sluggish when tired while children tend to overcompensate and speed up. For this reason, sleep deprivation is sometimes confused with ADHD in children. Children may also be moody, emotionally explosive, and /or aggressive as a result of sleepiness. Mouth breathing can have a tremendous impact on the mental and physical health of children; as it can be associated with the restriction of the lower airways, poor quality of sleep, reduced cognitive functioning, and a lower quality of life.