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Pediatric Growth and Development

Many Parents May Not Be Familiar With The Condition Known As Sleep Disordered Breathing, But If Their Children Are Affected By It, They Will Surely Recognize The Effects, Ranging From Mood, Behavioral, And Academic Issues To Allergies To Sleep Disruption.

Not only does Sleep Disordered Breathing present risks to your child’s health and wellbeing, but it is also quite common among children, with up to 90 percent of them exhibiting at least one symptom associated with this condition.

Fortunately, the HealthyStart system offers parents a non-invasive treatment option to eliminate Sleep Disordered Breathing and the problems it can create for their children. Don’t hesitate to ask us for more information if you suspect that your child has this disorder.


Myofunctional Therapy

Palatal Expander

Causes of Sleep Disordered Breathing

Sleep Disordered Breathing is typically associated with underdeveloped dental arches, which subsequently compromise the child’s airway. The effects of that compromised airway are particularly pronounced while the child is asleep and cannot compensate for them.

The following issues can lead to underdeveloped dental arches:

  • Child is not breastfed (or is breastfed in a very limited capacity).
  • The tongue and/or orofacial muscles are demonstrably weak.
  • The child’s diet is heavily focused on soft or heavily processed foods.
  • The child has developed poor oral habits, such as thumb sucking or pacifier use.

When underdeveloped dental arches result in a compromised airway, the following symptoms may be evidence of it:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Low tongue position or tongue thrusting
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • Crowded or crooked teeth; Alternatively, baby teeth that are properly aligned with no spaces between them (indicating that the jaw is too small)
  • Malocclusions (overbites, crossbites open bites, etc.)

When these conditions interfere with your child’s ability to breathe properly while they are asleep, symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing are highly likely to occur.

Symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children

In order to get your child effective treatment for Sleep Disordered Breathing, it’s important to regularly monitor for the condition’s symptoms, including the following:
  • Snoring or loud breathing while asleep
  • Restless sleep
  • Night sweats
  • Bed wetting
  • Nightmares
  • Mouth breathing
  • Chronic allergies or asthma
  • Enlarged tonsils/adenoids
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Attention deficits/ADHD
  • Poor academic performance
  • Behavior problems
  • Irritability and other mood issues
  • Not achieving anticipated developmental benchmarks
If you have any concerns related to the issues described above, even if they seem relatively minor, we encourage you to bring them to our attention so that your child can be evaluated for potential Sleep Disordered Breathing treatment.
Additionally, because these symptoms can emerge at any time during childhood, we will assess for them every time your child visits our office. This allows us to intervene as soon as possible to correct the problem.

Non-Invasive Treatment Options for Sleep Disordered Breathing

It is possible to address the underlying conditions with the jaw and airway that cause Sleep Disordered Breathing. The HealthyStart system uses custom-designed removable appliances to correct the issues that are affecting your child’s ability to breathe while they are asleep.

HealthyStart is a multi-phase treatment system incorporating habit correction appliances, which focus on overcoming the oral habits contributing to the Sleep Disordered Breathing, and guiding appliances that direct the teeth into the proper positions and facilitate optimal jaw development.

The custom-designed appliances are well-tolerated by children in addition to being highly effective. They are FDA-approved and BPA-free, silicone-free and latex-free.

Furthermore, HealthyStart is not disruptive to your child’s daily routine. The appliance is worn for only an hour or two during the day and for the duration of the time that your child is asleep.

Common HealthyStart Questions

HealthyStart is a treatment for Sleep Disordered Breathing that uses custom-designed appliances in a number of treatment phases to encourage the proper development of the jaw and airway and overcome issues like poor oral habits and incorrect tongue positioning that can affect a child’s ability to breathe properly while they are asleep. In addition to treating sleep-disordered breathing, HealthyStart can be an early intervention to address orthodontic problems and eliminate the need for braces or Invisalign at a later age.
By correcting issues with the jaw’s development and eliminating the conditions that contribute to Sleep Disordered Breathing, HealthyStart can help children overcome this disorder and eliminate the problematic symptoms associated with it.
When a child’s airway is compromised, it is often due to underdeveloped dental arches. HealthyStart enables the jaws to grow and develop fully, in turn restoring normal functioning to the airway. As a result, children who are treated with HealthyStart can enjoy normal airway functioning and overcome Sleep Disordered Breathing.
The jaw is fully developed in adult patients and its growth can no longer be manipulated, so it’s much better to begin treatment in patients during childhood or early adolescence. Nonetheless, HealthyStart can sometimes be effective for adult patients. This may require additional appliances or other adjustments to the typical course of treatment in order to achieve the desired results. If you are an adult patient interested in HealthyStart, visit our office for an evaluation to learn more about whether it might be suitable in your case.
Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, is the inflammation of the gums and is often the first stage of periodontal disease. Untreated gingivitis can progress to early, moderate, or severe periodontal disease, in which the gums, bones, and connective tissues that support your teeth are permanently destroyed.

To determine if you have gingivitis or a more advanced form of periodontal disease, our dentists will examine your mouth and look for symptoms such as bleeding, inflammation, and bone loss. Because gingivitis can advance to periodontal disease, we may take x-rays to check the level of the bone around each tooth.