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Children breathing through their mouth instead of their nose can impact their development, behaviour and personality.

Most healthcare professionals, might tell you not to worry about mouth breathing and insist that your child will “grow out of it.” However the truth is mouth breathing can cause devastating effects on your child’s face and airway.

How Mouth Breathing changes facial and oral development?

Untreated mouth breathing leads to development of long, narrow faces with crooked teeth, receded jaw, and future TMD and headache issues.

When children are breathing through their nose the tongue sits on the roof of their mouth to help develop the bone to allow for maximum airway.  When breathing through the mouth this does not happen, hence narrow arch and narrow airway.
However it’s not just about looks, when the jaw and airway don’t fully develop, the airway can become easily obstructed during sleep.

If the airway becomes obstructed, the brain must bounce out of deep sleep and into a lighter stage of sleep in order to grind and clench to push the jaw forward to allow for breathing again.

Deep sleep is the body’s chance to restore, repair, and heal from the stress of the day.

In a child who is snoring, grinding and clenching, or breathing through the mouth, the brain is not able to rest and sleep is not restorative.

How Mouth Breathing impacts behaviour and personality?

Deep sleep is when Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is released, which is essential to a child’s brain development and long bone growth. Once deep sleep is interrupted, HGH stops being secreted. Not having enough HGH stunts your growth and brain development.

Children who are deprived of deep sleep are often hyperactive as a result of adrenaline used to compensate for sleepiness.

They often aren’t able to achieve their academic potential because their brains and bodies aren’t at their best in this damaged, deep sleep-deprived state.

They are often diagnosed with ADHD and other behavioural issues, they also can have lowered immune systems, poor health, and be overweight.

Strategies for Parents

  • Make sure your child can breathe through their nose with ease.
  • Make sure your child has seen a dentist by age one. Make sure that this dentist is concerned with recognizing mouth breathing and its implications.
  • Make sure your child is treated for allergies. Allergies can force children into mouth breathing.
  • Make sure that your child’s diet and environment aren’t contributing to allergies.
  • Ask your dentist if your child needs a referral to an orthodontist if they are  mouth breathing.

Contact us we can assess your Child should you have any concerns

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