Is your child mouth breathing?

What is the connection with Early Orthopedic and/or Orthodontic Intervention?

As parents we see our little ones with lips of her face separated at rest or while they sleep.

The first indication of mouth breathing is when a child sleeps with unsealed lips, this is also associated with anterior tongue rest posture. Both positions soon become a dominant reflex with the tongue invading the oropharyngeal area, reducing airway space that could result in snoring on a child, as early as two years old.

Changes in muscular activity will create functional imbalances in the facial environment: the palate in your child will be deep, the tongue will change its lateral configuration, the face will narrow with lack of posterior width.

As mouth breathing patterns become dominant, multiple regions of the face and airway will lack development, your child might present with:

  • Purple/dark eye circles
  • Sleep disturbances (child waking up, without reaching third and/or fourth phase of sleep)
  • Alterations in growth hormone (GH) release
  • Lack of muscular mass and bone development
  • Night time wetting
  • Alterations in craniofacial growth and development
  • mSecondary habit developments such as thumb or any other finger in the mouth.
  • Teeth in the front do not touch (anterior open bite)

When your child presents these characteristics, delaying treatment after age of six years old can deteriorate and complicate a malocclusion; that will not self-correct with natural growth.

“The earlier a deviation from the normal facial and airway development on a child can be detected, the earlier we are able to treat, as early as three years old,” Dr. Calkins.

“We invite our families to join us in a complimentary evaluation as early as three years old to evaluate for possible soft tissue dysfunction in your child, that could be associated with developing sleep disorder breathing.”

For more information on soft tissue facial dysfunction, please reach Dr. Calkins at Sunrise Orthodontics.

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