prevent child from developing sleep apnea

Is it Possible to Prevent Sleep Apnea in Children

prevent child from developing sleep apneaThousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, CA

Did you know that children are susceptible to sleep apnea? Contrary to popular belief that this sleep-breathing disorder plagues only middle-aged, overweight men, sleep apnea actually can curse children of all ages, even babies! Your Agoura Hills myofunctional therapists at Integrative Dental Arts wants to share with you how it may be possible to prevent your child from developing this serious sleep breathing disorder.

It’s called myofunctional therapy.

Myofunctional therapy uses specially prescribed exercises to retrain the tongue, and the muscles of the mouth to rest and function properly, and encourages nasal breathing, and an open airway. It is a combination of these elements that makes for a healthier mind and body and results in better sleep at night.

What’s the connection?

Sleep apnea often manifests from chronic mouth breathing, which can be adapted from birth. Whether adapted from being bottle-fed to eating mushy baby food or thumb sucking, mouth breathing is not healthy for anyone –simply put! Mouth breathing results in the tongue resting low in the mouth, with the lips open and upper and lower jaws a part. As a result, the upper palate begins to develop in a narrow fashion, which also leads to a narrow airway – hence the development of sleep apnea.

How can this be stopped?

Myofunctional therapists in Agoura Hills use this specially designed therapy to help children learn better breathing habits, which means nasal breathing with the mouth closed and the tongue resting against the roof of the mouth. Other orofacial disorders such as tongue thrust or reverse swallowing also can be corrected with a course of myofunctional therapy. These exercises are simple and painless, but require the patient’s compliance.

By helping children grow and develop with full-sized jaws means wider, healthier airways, which has a host of health benefits both now and long-term into adulthood. For this intervention to work, early detection of a sleep-breathing disorder or orofacial disorder are essential. The earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome.

Where should I start?

Observe your child to see whether he or she mouth breathes during the day while relaxing, or snores at night while sleeping. If you notice either of the two, schedule an evaluation with us at Integrative Dental Arts. We can assess your child’s breathing habits, provide an airway evaluation, and discuss a treatment plan best suited for your child. Correcting this problem now may actually help your child avoid developing sleep apnea later in life. If your child already has sleep apnea, correcting the problem now will improve their life in the long run.

If you are an adult reading this and realize that you actually may have some of these same issues, don’t worry, we can help you, too! To learn more about our services or how we can use myofunctional therapy to possibly prevent sleep apnea in your child, please contact our office by calling (818) 889-0400 to schedule a consultation. 

Integrative Dental Arts welcomes patients the Agoura Hills and Westlake Village areas of California.