If your child is under 12 years of age and mouth breathes regularly, it's important to address this issue right away. Mouth breathing isn't something you want your child to do, especially during the night. Breathing through the mouth can cause a number problems for children, including orthodontic issues. Get the facts about mouth breathing, including ways to address and treat it below.
What Are the Repercussions of Mouth Breathing?
Young people can experience mouth breathing at any time during childhood. Conditions such as allergies and nasal obstructions can force children to breathe through their mouths. Young people who have small upper or lower jawbones can also mouth breathe at times. Mouth breathing can have many repercussions on children if it goes untreated.
If your child has allergies or nasal problems, ask a pediatrician or allergist to examine them. The conditions can allow mucus to block your child's airways, which forces them to breathe through their mouths. Prescription medications, such as inhalers and nasal sprays, can control your child's symptoms so that they stop mouth breathing over time.
Mouth breathing eventually affects your child's teeth, jaw, and gums. The condition can make them susceptible to gum inflammation, malocclusion, and tooth decay. Your child's mouth can also dry out if they mouth breathe.
Once you have your child's mouth breathing under control, take care of their teeth, gums, and jaw.
Can Orthodontic Treatment Correct Your Child's Mouth Problems?
Orthodontic treatments, such as metal braces and head gear, can correct dental problems that arise from mouth breathing. Braces and head gear help guide misaligned teeth back into their correct positions over time. A dentist can give you a better idea of what types of treatments your loved one needs during an exam.
Depending on your child's orthodontic problems, their treatment can take up to two years for changes to take place. During the two-year time period, an orthodontist will monitor the movement of your child's teeth and the growth of their jawbone. If every thing goes well, your child may not need additional orthodontic treatments.
In addition to orthodontic appliances, a dentist can treat your child's gums and teeth. Orthodontic treatments are more effective when the structures they support are healthy. If your loved one needs other dental care to address the issues brought on by mouth breathing, an orthodontist for kids can tell you so.
If your loved one mouth breathes and has orthodontic problems, schedule an exam with a dentist today.