Overall Wellness for Growing Kids
A child’s orofacial development is extremely important to their overall health and quality of life. This refers to how their jaw, teeth, and face grow and change over time. Often, one jaw may develop slower than the other, which can lead to problems with the alignment of the teeth and even the health of the airway.
Airway issues, in turn, can lead to sleep problems, even including sleep apnea. Sleep apnea in children often manifests itself as hyperactivity and attention problems, which is more often than not misdiagnosed as ADHD. The end result is a medicated child who isn’t actually getting treatment for the right problem.
At Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine, our team of experts uses a multi-disciplinary approach that can help prevent both orthodontic and sleep problems for young children. We can make sure that a child enjoys a beautiful smile and a healthy body for a lifetime to come.
How We Prevent Orthodontic Problems
It is estimated that about 75% of children will experience some type of problem with the alignment of their bite and adult teeth, whether that refers to crowding, spacing, or an overbite/underbite. Treatment for these kinds of issues is readily available and well-known—metal braces—but as every parent knows, getting any type of orthodontic care, no matter how necessary, is extremely expensive.
However, by bringing your child to come see us at an early age, our own Dr. Keith Hollinger can spot the signs of serious alignment issues before they actually develop. With this information, he can actually intervene with a multitude of treatments designed to prevent them.
Using this approach, he cannot only dramatically lower a child’s need for more involved treatments in the future, but he can also ensure that they have a functional and attractive smile, which is essential to helping your child feel comfortable in school and around their peers.
Children’s Sleep Apnea & ADHD
Right now, 11% of U.S. children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and about 2-4% have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you look at the list of symptoms for both, they are strikingly similar. Children with sleep apnea typically have problems sitting still for long periods of time or focusing in school, and others have behavior problems due to emotional outbursts.
Does this sound familiar? To most doctors, this is classic ADHD, so they prescribe a medication for it. For a large portion of children, these drugs do not work simply because they aren’t treating the root problem: a lack of quality sleep.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and their treatment doesn’t seem to be working, or if they have trouble sleeping, with bedwetting, or experience frequent headaches, this is very likely due to sleep apnea.
This condition is often caused by an underdeveloped jaw that creates a narrow airway and prevents healthy sleep. At our practice, we can help guide the development of your child’s orofacial structures using functional orthodontics to help them overcome this kind of issue.
Give Your Child a Strong Start
If you believe that your child may need braces in the future, or if you’re considering taking them to the doctor for ADHD, we highly recommend that you schedule an appointment here at Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine. We can give your child the treatment they need to help them avoid a myriad of potential health problems down the line, all without a prescription.
To schedule an appointment, contact us today.