SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA
Parents alike want their children to remain healthy throughout life. As a parent, you probably stress over your child’s diet, worry whether they are eating enough vegetables, or feel guilty about allowing too much sugar. Hopefully, you encourage your child to exercise or play outside to expend their energy and keep their heart healthy. You probably are diligent about taking your child for their well visits at the doctor, and hopefully, to the dentist too! But there’s one thing you might be overlooking that has as much to do with your child’s health as those previously mentioned factors. It’s how your child breathes.
Mouth breathing is a common issue that could lead to health problems that we will discuss. You can tell if your child is a mouth breather if you observe them breathing through their mouth regularly, and they always have their jaw gaping open. The tongue rests low in the mouth, which could hinder the growth of the upper palate and airway. Additionally, open mouth posture or mouth breathing may cause teeth to become crowded and crooked, as well as a recessed lower jaw. Unfortunately, these issues could result in speech delays or speech impediments, improper swallowing patterns that lead to picky eating, and an unfavorable facial profile. Furthermore, kids often can be made fun of for these issues.
Kids who chronically mouth breathe may suffer health consequences as well. Breathing through the mouth actually means the body isn’t getting enough oxygen that vital organs need to function. Oxygen deprivation could hinder overall growth and development and a child’s ability to learn and progress academically. Mouth breathing can also increase the risk of sleep apnea, exacerbate asthma, and lead to cavities and gum disease.
What can be done about mouth breathing?
Non-invasive treatment exists to treat mouth breathing. No surgery is required! Your child likely is unaware of their mouth breathing habit and doesn’t know how to curb it. At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we can help children stop mouth breathing in Scotts Valley with Myofunctional Therapy, a form of physical therapy for the orofacial muscles. The goal is to retrain the tongue to rest properly against the roof of the mouth (with teeth together and lips closed) while encouraging nasal breathing. This series of orofacial muscle exercises can be done at our office at first, and then we will ask your child to commit to working on their treatment at home as well. If your child is older and has already suffered physical changes in their appearances like a recessed jaw, protruding upper teeth, or crooked teeth, we also have orthodontic options to help bring their teeth into proper alignment after correcting improper oral posture and mouth breathing. But the best treatment is the one that fits your child’s oral needs.
Myofunctional Therapy in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz
If you’d like to learn more about the dangers of mouth breathing or would like to schedule a consultation to find out if your child could benefit from myofunctional therapy, please contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411 or contact us online. It’s imperative for your child’s health to seek effective treatment for their mouth breathing, and we’d like to be a part of that journey with them.