How Braces Can Help Your Child Breathe Better
We’ve got some possibly surprising news – braces are not just about straightening teeth. After all, looks aren’t everything.
Orthodontic care goes a lot further than just appearances. In fact, the function and development of the jaw and facial form play a large role in our overall wellness.
For example, does your child have breathing problems? If so, you’ll definitely want to learn about the role of orthodontics in craniofacial development.
Form Allows Function
First, we must understand the ways in which our facial form doesn’t always function correctly.
The purpose of braces isn’t just to align crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are the sign of a much larger issue – soft-tissue dysfunction. This includes the position of the tongue, oral habits, mouth breathing, and snoring. These factors, in turn, affect our airways and breathing.
When our teeth aren’t aligned correctly, we develop improper tongue position and decreased function of the jaw muscle, and this can affect airways and facial form.
Do you notice any of these breathing compensations in yourself or others?
- mouth breathing
- improper tongue posture (sits on the teeth instead of resting against the roof of your mouth)
Encourage Proper Breathing Practices in Your Child
When the tongue doesn’t rest on the palate of the mouth, or when someone breathes with their mouth open, this adversely affects the jaw’s position. The upper jaw will position the lower jaw down and back, instead of up and forward. While an imbalanced jaw can cause tooth crowding and overbites, it also impedes airway space, and it’s a pattern that will only worsen over time.
Remind your child to breathe through their nose with their lips closed.
This will cause his or her tongue to remain positioned on the roof of their mouth, helping to create a healthy, wide upper jaw.
It’s never too soon to seek orthodontic treatment for your child. Begin looking at breathing habits, tonsils and adenoids, sleep patterns, and diets from infancy.
We all want to raise healthy and happy children, and Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings is along with you for the ride of parenthood. Promote overall wellness in your children now by making sure their airways are functioning properly and they aren’t experiencing soft-tissue disfunction.
Early intervention can help your child breathe, look, and function better. If you’re in the Brookings area, contact us today for a free consultation for yourself or your child.