What does your Child’s Breathing Habits have to do with their Looks?

childs breathing habitsSCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA

Parents want the best for their children which means nurturing them to become healthy individuals. If you’re a parent, you want to ensure that your child has their health and safety. But there is one thing that your child might be missing, and most parents don’t even realize it – air. There’s actually a right and a wrong way to breathe. How your child breathes could impact them in more ways than one. Breathing the wrong way has some pretty severe consequences, including speech development issues, poor oral health and overall health, severely misaligned teeth and an unattractive facial profile. That’s why, today on the blog, our neuromuscular dentists in Scotts Valley share the connection between your child’s breathing habits and their looks.

What’s the right way to breathe?

Aside from occasional congestion, nasal breathing or breathing through the nose is the right way to breathe. Observe yourself breathing for a moment. Proper tongue posture means that your tongue rests against the roof of the mouth, your teeth should come together but not be clenched, and your lips remain closed. The gentle pressure from the tongue encourages palatal growth for children, which helps naturally widen the roof of their mouth. This is essential to create enough room for their adult teeth to erupt when it’s time, and so that the tongue can rest in its proper position and facilitate proper swallowing patterns. Additionally, nasal breathing helps the jaw bones and airway grow to their fullest potential. Nasal breathing also warms the air in the nasal passages before air is breathed deep into the lungs, which allows sufficient time for oxygen absorption, an essential nutrient within the bloodstream that is vital to the nervous system and other bodily organs.

What’s the wrong way to breathe?

Chronic mouth breathing is detrimental to the body in multiple ways. The mouth gapes open, the tongue rests in the bottom of the mouth, and less oxygen enters the lungs and the blood. Mouth breathing leads to low blood oxygenation, affecting focus, overall health and mood. Some studies connect mouth breathing with ADHD and poor academic performance. Additionally, chronic mouth breathing results in a narrow upper palate, which causes crowded and crooked teeth. In a child that mouth breathes, their face shape becomes elongated or narrow, and the chin is recessed or sits too far back, which can result in the upper jaw jutting forward too far. Thankfully, there are ways to correct mouth breathing, and encourage facial growth guidance. But if left untreated, mouth breathing may increase the risk of snoring, sleep apnea, dental diseases, and stunted growth.

What causes mouth breathing?

Mouth breathing often occurs due to a variety of issues including:

  • Orofacial myofunctional disorders
  • Prolonged thumb sucking or bottle usage
  • Enlarged adenoids or tonsils
  • Deviated septum
  • Tongue tie
  • Chronic allergies

It’s important to determine what’s causing mouth breathing first by consulting with an airway dentist in Scotts Valley. At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we can pinpoint the cause of your child’s and then offer suitable treatments. Our airway dentists offer facial growth guidance appliances, functional orthodontics, myofunctional therapy, and Buteyko Breathing techniques.

Treating Mouth Breathing in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos and Santa Cruz, California

Mouth breathing can be hazardous but this habit can be corrected with the care of a medical health professional like the dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. If you would like to learn more about mouth breathing or available treatments, contact our office by calling (831) 438-4411 or go online to schedule your consultation.