You may think orthodontia is just a way to improve your dental health and smile, but an early visit to your orthodontist could actually help you be a better sleeper later in life.
As orthodontists that specialize in treating young children, the doctors at Northern Virginia Orthodontics are making a conscious effort to diagnose dental problems that could contribute to pediatric sleep apnea.
“A narrow maxilla and a high palatal vault are common characteristics of children who are mouth breathers,” reported Northern Virginia Orthodontics’ Dr. Barcoma. “Children who are primarily mouth breathers are more likely to demonstrate nighttime snoring and could be at a greater risk of developing sleep apnea.”
Because children with sleep apnea are more likely to have behavioral and learning-related issues, ensure that patients are experiencing restful, high-quality sleep is very important to the doctors at Northern Virginia Orthodontics.
“A rapid maxillary expander (RME) is a dental device commonly used to increase the width of the maxilla – or upper jaw bone – in order to reduce dental crowding and correct dental crossbites,” Dr. Baroma shared.
In addition to its dental benefits, scientific evidence has also shown that maxillary expansion increases the nasal airway volume and decreases nasal airway resistance, making nasal breathing easier and decreasing mouth breathing. An RME is a simple, non-invasive device that is most effective when used in children ages 7-10.
If you think your child may benefit from an RME or would like to learn more about how orthodontics can help your child later in life, schedule a complimentary consultation with NVO today!