The Importance of Sleep A good night’s sleep is essential for everyone, especially children. Many children experience breathing problems during sleep (also known as sleep-disordered breathing) without their parents even realizing it. Getting enough air through an unobstructed (unblocked) airway during sleep and while awake is a necessary step in developing good health for a lifetime, one night’s sleep at a time. The amount of sleep your child gets is important, but good quality sleep is also critical. Sleep restores energy and helps physical growth and mental development. Not getting enough quality sleep can have negative consequences like behavioral issues, poor brain development and high blood pressure. Paying attention to your child’s airway and how they breathe while they are asleep and awake is crucial. What Signs Should Parents Watch Out For? The most obvious sign that a parent should watch for is mouth breathing, but caregivers should also notice if there are any breathing sounds, including snoring, during sleep. Breathing should be through the nose and silent. While most parents don’t sleep in the same bedroom with their children every night, it is beneficial to watch your child’s sleep habits sometimes and keep an eye out for signs of disruption. Some other signs to watch for during sleep that show your child might be experiencing sleep-disordered breathing are: Unusual sleep position Bed-wetting Sweating Teeth grinding Waking up frequently Your child may also show behavioral signs while they’re awake. Many children who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might be sleeping poorly—the behavioral signs are similar: Daytime drowsiness Trouble concentrating Irritability or moodiness Fidgeting and hyperactivity Your Child’s Dentist Can Help Identify Problems During a dental exam, your child’s dentist may also be able to identify common signs of disordered breathing, such as tongue positioning, mouth breathing and the shape of the mouth and face. Early detection of poor breathing habits and jaw and airway development means treatments can be started before any health problems arise. If your child’s dentist suspects that your child may have sleep-disordered breathing, they can discuss treatment options directed at the source of the problems. This might be poor habits, allergies, sleep hygiene issues or other concerns the dentist, orthodontist, pediatrician and other medical providers can address. There are many treatment options for improving your child’s health related to breathing during sleep, like a myofunctional trainer (similar to a night guard), getting allergies under control, or some habit-correcting exercises to encourage nasal breathing. Your child’s pediatrician and dentist can work together to help you decide what’s best for your child. Left: When your airway is open, air can easily pass through as you breathe in and out. This allows you to breathe normally while you sleep. Right: Your tongue/soft tissues block (or “obstruct”) your airway. The “snoring” sound is made when air tries to force its way through your blocked airway as you breathe in and out. Open Airway Obstructed Airway Baby Teeth When They Come In, When They Fall Out Parents Baby Teeth When They Come In, When They Fall Out Parents Why Baby Teeth Are Important: A Healthy Start is Smart Caring for baby teeth may not be top-of- mind for parents. This brochure directs their attention to caries prevention and the big- picture role of primary teeth. Provides tips for home care and includes tooth decay photos and a primary dentition chart Advises parents against serving sugary liquids in the bottle W282 8 panels, 50 per pack PERSONALIZE IT! DAB079 Children's Airways: Why Parents Should Pay Attention to Their Child's Breathing Sleep disorders can be a complicated topic to discuss with patients, especially parents. Use this brochure to begin a conversation about why parents should pay attention to children’s breathing during sleeping and waking hours. Highlights some behavioral signs that may point to a possible sleep disorder Introduces some possible treatment options, including ways you may be able to help Encourages parents to discuss any concerns with their child’s pediatrician W33020 6 panels, 50 per pack " To say I was ecstatic when I saw the ADA’s pediatric airway awareness brochure is an UNDERSTATEMENT! If we start looking beyond the teeth...and looking at the child as a whole...we will change the trajectory of millions of children's health and lives." - Stacy Ochoa, D-ABDSM, FICOI PATIENT EDUCATION BABIES AND CHILDREN ORDER ONLINE: ADACATALOG.ORG 77
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