The secret enemy of a healthy body
Children as well as adults should breathe through their nose only, with their mouth closed. The importance of breathing through the nose cannot be underestimated for all and is even more important for growing children as it guarantees healthy growth and physical development.
Why mouth breathing?
For many children mouth breathing is just a bad habit that can be broken. However a child may be unable to breathe easily through the nose when the airway is obstructed due to allergies, hay fever, swollen tonsils or adenoids or when something is blocking the nose. Other medical reasons can also hide behind mouth breathing. If mouth breathing is not transient and becomes chronic or habitual, especially if it is accompanied by sleep difficulty, sleeping with the mouth open or snoring at night, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.
Negative effects in a growing child
- Increased tendency to ear-nose-throat infections.
- Sleep disturbance which can adversely affect the child’s growth, development and academic performance. It may also contribute to behavioural problems.
- Negative effects on healthy growth and maturity. High blood pressure, cardiac problems asthma and bed wetting are also commonly associated with chronic mouth breathing.
- Small and slight stature.
- Disturbance in the posture of the head and neck.
- Negative effects on the growth of the face which may lead to unattractive facial features.
- Negative effects on dental development including severe crowding and bite problems.
How we can help
Dr. Yaz Nafa has extensive training in diagnosing and treating the negative effects of mouth breathing on the jaws and teeth. On your child’s first consultation, we always look out for signs of mouth breathing and offer our help and advice. If chronic mouth breathing is diagnosed, there are different steps and technique that we can use:
- Identifying the cause
- Myofunctional trainers
- Orthodontic treatment
In summary, mouth breathing is one of the most important and yet frequently ignored problems we see in growing children. The earlier this problem is discovered and addressed, ideally at age 7-9, the shorter and less complex any treatment will be as we will deal with the effects of mouth breathing early before they fully manifest themselves. Its negative effects on facial and dental development and the medical and social problems associated with it can be greatly reduced or avoided.
Once we establish natural nasal breathing we see improvements not only in the mouth at the level of jaws and teeth, but in the general health, the entire body and posture.
Contact us now to book a mouth breathing consultation.