How the Shape of Your Child’s Mouth Affects Their Overall Health

Is your child a mouth-breather?

Most parents make the mistake of assuming this is a natural trait of kids. Mouth-breathing is actually not normal unless your child has a cold or allergies. If your kid has a habit of breathing through his or her mouth instead of their nose, this could be a sign there is an issue with their oro-facial development.

Even more importantly, mouth-breathing can play a role in worsening in the development of both their oral and facial anatomy.

Why Mouth Breathing Happens

All it takes is a small defect in the jawbone. That little bit of unevenness can cause your child’s entire jaw to go slack during sleep. The muscles relax and the tongue collapses back towards the throat. This blocks off the nasal passages and constricts the windpipe. As a result, your child may start breathing heavily out of their mouth.

Not only this, but the mouth-breathing habit may carry over to the waking hours.

Is Mouth Breathing Really That Bad?

The consequences of habitually breathing through the mouth are more far-reaching than you might imagine. This breathing habit reduces the oxygen supply to the brain. It also irritates sensitive tissues in the mouth that are meant to be kept moist.

Some of the adverse outcomes of mouth-breathing can include:

  • Impaired speech
  • Swollen tonsils and adenoids
  • Tooth decay
  • Sleep disorders
  • Greater chance of needing braces
  • Chronic allergies
  • Asthma
  • Learning disabilities

Instead of just treating all the symptoms that can result from an insufficiently developed jaw, why not think about treating the jawbone itself?

Get a Healthy Start

Adjusting your child’s smile is not as invasive as you might think. In fact, most parents do prefer to make a few small adjustments now rather than spend on more complex treatment later on.

That’s why Shoreline Dental Care is proud to offer HealthyStart™ as part of our comprehensive approach to smile health. This system utilizes a safe, child-friendly dental appliance that helps encourage good oral “posture,” so to speak. Teeth, jaw, and tongue are all encouraged into the proper positions.

Call our Milford or West Haven practices today to schedule an evaluation.