As a parent, you’re always on the lookout for abnormalities in your child’s well-being, and their dental health is no exception. From encouraging frequent brushing to taking them to their yearly dental exam, there are several ways you can encourage good dental hygiene in your kids. Additionally, exploring different orthodontic treatments can help your child’s teeth down the road. However, did you know seeing an orthodontist can also help your child’s airways and breathing? Keep reading to learn more!
1. Lessening Mouth Breathing
It can be easy to assume that your child choosing to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose is a normal occurrence. While this is generally not something to worry about, strictly mouth breathing can lead to some larger issues down the road. According to Oral Health, frequent mouth breathing can result in dental malformation. If you see a mouth breathing problem persisting in your child, it’s time to take a trip to the orthodontist. Specified orthodontic treatments can help to lessen this problem.
2. Combatting OSA
One of the biggest issues that orthodontic treatments can help with is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. According to The American Sleep Apnea Association, around 3% of children will develop OSA. If you notice your child frequently has a dry mouth or is irritable whenever they need to wake up, it may be due to sleep apnea. Your trusted orthodontist can help to combat this problem and provide specialized treatment to encourage nasal breathing instead of mouth breathing.
3. Increasing Quality of Sleep
When you take your child to their orthodontic exam, be sure to mention their sleeping habits. The range of orthodontic treatments for OSA in children vary, but your orthodontist is likely to recommend a device or orthodontic treatment that will make it easier for your child to breathe through the nose, encouraging deeper, more relaxing sleep patterns. Catching oral problems early will pay off in an increased quality of sleep for your child, potentially improving their physical and mental health.
An ortho treatment can tackle many different issues when it comes to your child’s oral health, even their breathing and quality of sleep. If you’re noticing a few early signs of OSA in your child, reach out to your doctor and schedule an appointment with your orthodontist today.