Does your child have breathing problems?

How can Orthodontics help?

Children who don’t breathe properly can experience a range of problems from headaches and trouble sleeping, to developmental issues with their teeth, jaw and face.

A recent industry paper stated, “Orthodontic treatments that positively impact the airway and breathing can lead to a healthier and longer life.” Dr Saacks tells us more.

Most people think Orthodontists focus only on teeth. How can orthodontic treatment help patients with breathing problems?

While Orthodontists are primarily known for straightening teeth, we can also assist with painful and misaligned bites, tooth movement caused by bad habits such as thumb sucking, and even some forms of breathing disorders.

Specialist Orthodontists are trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities – so we not only focus on straightening teeth, but also correcting a person’s mouth and jaw structure, and treating airway issues to promote proper breathing. We look beyond teeth to the nose, throat, muscles of the tongue, face, and neck, and how these can impact on the rest of the body.

What is mouth breathing?

A mouth breather is someone who habitually breathes in and out through their mouth, rather than their nose, causing a range of issues including:

  • chronic airway irritation
  • increased risk of tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease
  • poorer quality sleep, leading to increased risk of behavioural and social difficulties
  • developmental problems affecting the facial structure, jaw, bite and tongue position

What symptoms should I be looking out for in my child?

There are a number of warning signs including:

  • dry lips
  • crowded teeth
  • snoring and open mouth while sleeping
  • increased number of airway infections such as sinus, ear or colds
  • nighttime asthma
  • fatigue and drowsiness during the day

When is the right time to talk to an Orthodontist?

The younger the patient the better the long-term results. In modern orthodontics, the focus is on early, preventive treatment.

Growth of the face and skull is 80-90% complete by age twelve. Unfortunately, this is when orthodontic treatment starts for most children. The Australian Society of Orthodontists says age 7 is the best time to visit an Orthodontist.

Early diagnosis and treatment can be more effective and simpler than later age care, and maximises the success of corrective orthodontics.

It is important to fix the form and function of the mouth, jaw and teeth as soon as possible to get the best results for life. By supporting the proper development of the jaw structure at an early age, using a child’s natural growth to our advantage, we can provide children with a healthier future.

What treatment options does Saacks Orthodontics offer for breathing problems?

As experts in facial growth and dental development, we can select the best treatment option available, depending on the individual. Treatments range from functional orthopaedics to devices that maintain the position of the tongue and jaw overnight, through to a range of orthodontic treatments that correct jaw and facial structure.

To find out if orthodontic treatment can help with your child’s breathing issues, call our office for a free evaluation.