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R. Kirk Huntsman: Does Your Child Have Crooked Teeth-

A mouth breathing habit could put your child at risk for developing a “small, set back jaw, a tiny chin and a long face,” according to a recent article by the Huffington Post.

Everywhere you turn in the media, the mouth breathing connection to dental deformities is making headlines. 

In a blog post this spring, I wrote that the surprising cause of your child’s health issues is likely a compromised airway. Over the years, I’ve witnessed case after case wherein children’s sleeping problems, facial development, and smile have all been enhanced once doctors’ and parents’ attention was focused on improving a child’s airway.

The following video, renown dental surgeon John Flutter, BDS, an Australia-based expert in early intervention methods to avoid the need for braces or extractions, breaks down how mouth breathing is often the underlying cause of crooked teeth.

Dr. Flutter presented this  lecture at the 2014 Breathing Conference at the Karolinska institute in Stockholm. Dr. Flutter’s research has shown that most orthodontic problems are best diagnosed and treated while your child is still growing.  

So, what are the signs that your child might be a mouth breather? Five to look out for, according to HuffPo’s Martha Cortes, DDS, are:

  1. Small & weak looking jaw
  2. Forward head posture
  3. Lip incompetency (unable to seal)
  4. Small, dysfunctional nostrils
  5. Underdeveloped or set back jaw

The good news is that you can retrain the muscle patterns that influence the teeth’s position and improve the way your child breathes. When children wear uniquely designed oral appliances for just a few hours a day or during the night while they sleep, the comfortable appliances promote nasal breathing and discourage mouth breathing as they straighten teeth, widen the dental arches, and help develop the jaw further—just as nature intended.