Did you know that the number one cause of crooked teeth in children is mouth-breathing?
For the upper jaw and palette to develop correctly, the tongue needs to be in the top of the mouth. In children who mouth-breathe the tongue sits at the bottom so as to not occlude their preferred airway – the mouth. Without the forces that the tongue exerts on the top of the palette, particularly during swallowing, the inward forces caused by cheek muscles and facial skin are not counter-balanced, causing the face to develop in a narrow fashion. Abnormal swallowing in mouth-breathers exacerbates the problem by pushing the front teeth forward. While all dentists now know this, not all can provide solutions beyond the regular orthodontic treatment. However some dentists are now turning to breathing retraining therapy for mouth-breathers so that the cause is corrected early in life rather than treating the symptoms later. Depending on the severity of the problem and the age of the child, expensive orthodontics can be avoided if the problem is treated early enough.
For older children who do require orthodontics, breathing retraining can shorten the period of orthodontic treatment required and can help the child avoid other problems associated with mouth-breathing such as asthma, blocked nose, hayfever, snoring and other breathing disorders.
Learning to breathe correctly sets a child up for life!