Mouth Breathing and snoring in children

Mouth breathing and snoring in children: a parent’s guide

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How many of you have been surprised at your child’s snoring ability? A lot of you I bet, but you have probably also asked yourself if it is normal or harmful to them right?

Sleep allows the body to recover and grow but unfortunately, a lot of young children are not getting a proper night’s sleep which lessens their genetic potential.

Read on to know more about the consequences of mouth breathing, snoring and their effects on your children:

Mouth breathing and its effects on your child

Mouth breathing has a direct effect on your child as he grows and develops along with his behavior and personality which affects how your child will turn out. Here are some effects of mouth breathing:

Effect on teeth and braces

Breathing through the mouth causes your child’s braces to take longer to align his teeth, making it a lot more difficult for your orthodontist as well. The spaces between the teeth will be a lot more difficult to reduce and close as well as compromising their alignment after removing the braces.

The chances of your children experiencing orthodontic relapse are quite high and they will probably need braces again in the future.

Speech problems

When your children breathe through their mouths, they will be a lot more likely to struggle with making and pronouncing certain sounds. The most common speech problem due to this is the lisp.

Changes in facial expression

Mouth breathing is likely to affect your child’s growth making his facial features less prominent, have a longer face, droopy eyes and lower facial muscle tone along with a narrower palate as well as a smaller jaw in most cases.

>> You might like: A Dental Surgeon Explains The Downside Of Mouth Breathing In Your Sleep

Signs to look for at night:

  • If your child snores regularly
  • If your child’s breathing is interrupted by snorts, gasps or pauses that last longer than 10 seconds
  • Sweat profusely while sleeping
  • Always sleep restlessly
  • They wet their bed often

Signs to look for during the day:

  • They are always very sleepy during the day as they are not getting a proper night’s sleep
  • If it is hard to wake your child often indicates that they are not getting proper sleep
  • If they fall asleep during the day or habitually drift off
  • If they struggle in terms of learning, behavioral or social problems
  • They are often aggressive, annoyed or irritated.
  • If they breath mostly through their mouths or speak through their nose

How nasal breathing affects your children 

  • They get less oxygen
  • Reduction in attention span
  • Higher chances of suffering from social problems
  • Suffers from higher levels of anxiety
  • Feely sleepy during the day as well
  • Much higher chances of suffering from depressive symptoms
  • Cognitive dysfunctions
  • Problems with thinking logically and remembering things

It has been discovered that oxygen levels drop in children who snore regularly and once this obstruction is removed, it leads to higher levels of concentration.

>>Read more: Sleep Apnea is a ‘Big’ Problem For Kids Too

How is mouth breathing, snoring and sleep apnea in children related?

Usually mouth breathing, snoring and children are not connected but in a lot of cases this is more common than you may think. Habitual snoring is a mild form of airway obstruction called “Sleep Disordered Breathing” which should never be taken lightly as it may be the beginning of sleep apnea as your body may not receive enough oxygen.

Here are some kids dental care strategies that you as a parent can adopt:

  • Ensure that your child can breathe through his nose easily
  • Schedule regular dental visits from an early age
  • Have your child tested and treated for allergies
  • Ensure that neither your child’s diet or his environment is contributing to allergies
  • Ask your dentist for advice if he is still breathing through the mouth.

The most important thing that you can do as a parent is to observe your child’s daily and nightly habits and report all your concerns to your family dentist.

This is a guest post by Grace Clark, dental marketer at Michael G. Long DDS

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