Did you know sleeping problems in children can be linked to orthodontic issues? From snoring and sleep apnea to teeth grinding and bedwetting, many symptoms can be caused or influenced by various oral health issues. Our BC orthodontists explain why early intervention is key.
What are Sleep Problems in Children?
Our health depends on our ability to sleep well at night, and that's especially true for children, who need anywhere from about 9 to 13 hours a night from age 3 to 12. But sleep problems including sleep apnea, snoring, teeth grinding and bedwetting can disrupt their precious rest - and have consequences for their physical, emotional and mental health.
How Can Orthodontics Help?
Detecting orthodontic problems early on is important to oral health and development and may also help resolve sleep problems for your child. While these issues may not seem related on the surface, they can be closely linked. Airway issues such as blocked airways and breathing-related issues can cause snoring, sleep apnea, teeth grinding or clenching while asleep, restlessness in bed, choking or drooling, and more.
As you might imagine, this can lead to serious physical and mental health issues long-term such as obesity, heart disease and depression.
We encourage parents to bring their child in to My ORTHODONTIST for an orthodontic assessment no later than age 7. When we first assess your child, we'll conduct a myofunctional orthodontic exam to check for common indications of blockages or airway constrictions such as tonsils that are abnormally positioned, an abnormally sized tongue, or lip tie or tongue tie.
Every child's case is unique and early intervention treatment will depend on their needs and circumstances. If your child is found to have a narrow or high palate, palatal expansion may be necessary to help create more space in the mouth by widening the upper jaw. These treatments can also be used to prevent future issues with sleep apnea and reduce orthodontic treatment time once your child reaches their teenage years.