Raising Healthy, Good Looking Children
Another chemical our body needs is Nitric Oxide (NO). NO is released only in the paranasal sinuses- i.e. in the nose. Nitric Oxide improves blood circulation and uptake of O2 in the blood. NO dilates arteries, and arterioles, inhibits inflammation, and destroys viruses, parasitic organisms and malignant cells in the airways and lungs by inactivating their respiratory chain enzymes, to mention only a few of its benefits. When you mouth breathe, you are not using nitric oxide. (Here’s one more benefit of nasal breathing- it will shrink your varicose veins.)
Dr. William Tipton wrote an excellent article for the Journal of the American Orthodontic Society entitled “Beautiful Balanced Faces”. Click here to read it. Dr. Tipton writes that it is very important to treat the mouth breathing child early because 60% of the growth of their face occurs by age four, 90% by age nine, and the lower jaw completes growing by age 18. Most pediatric dentists and physicians suggest waiting until age five or six to address thumb or finger sucking, and then age 12 for braces. I totally disagree with those suggestions. When finger or thumb sucking, the tongue is resting on the floor of the mouth which naturally leads to mouth breathing. (Sippy cups, bottles and pacifiers are also in my no-no category. These products also train the tongue to rest on the floor of the mouth.) The more a child (or adult) mouth breathes, the more clogged their sinuses get, resulting in constant mouth breathing. It is vital to start addressing mouth breathing much earlier for the benefit of a healthy, happy child. “The majority of health care professionals are UNAWARE of the negative impact of upper airway obstruction (mouth breathing) on the normal facial growth and physiologic health.“
Mouth breathing lowers the tongue position to make breathing easier. This in turn causes the lower jaw to develop incorrectly, and malforms the face in general. When the jaw is not developed correctly, receding chin, double chin, and all the other things I’ve list above start developing.
Every child should have straight teeth and when the face develops correctly, it follows that the teeth will be straight. A good looking face will create straight teeth. Let me say that again: Straight teeth are the result of correct facial development. (It does not matter if you got mom’s teeth and dad’s jaw, that’s not the cause of crowded teeth… It is a myth.) ALL mouth breathers have crooked teeth. The tongue, in the proper position on the roof of the mouth is the most important oral appliance your child possesses. If it is not on the roof of the mouth your child will have crowded, nonaligned teeth. The lack of tongue pressure on the upper teeth hinders the proper growth of the jaw. Muscle moves bone. And, since the roof of the mouth is the floor of the nose, things start going downhill from there (again, review the list above).
Children who mouth breath do not sleep well. If your child is small for his/her age – consider sleep apnea. It occurs even in childern. Click my link to read my blog post on sleep apnea in children. Are they tired during the day, unable to concentrate? Often, these children are misdiagnosed with ADHD, they have high blood pressure and other medical conditions. It all comes back to the airway.
Over breathing causes panic attacks and anxiety. Calm the breathing and it calms the mind. Learning more about Buteyko breathing will train you or your child to stop over-breathing. Slow, gentle relaxed breathing signals the brain that all is okay between the body and the mind.
We all want our children to be the best athlete they can be. If they close their mouth, and have better control of their breathing, they will indeed perform better. Remember CO2 allows more O2 uptake, and relaxes the smooth muscles. When there is an O2 “shortage”, the spleen is then triggered to dump more oxygenated blood into the body. Think a swimmer who can hold his breath the entire length of the pool versus the swimmer who cannot. Who is the better athlete?
Adults of any age will also greatly benefit from nasal breathing. Chronic hyperventilation may well be the root of many problems and ailments in our society.
Professionals Who May have Common Goals with Buteyko:
If your child is mouth breathing, has crooked teeth, then look for:
Functional Dentists: Biobloc dentists, ALF dentists, Check out this YouTube video
Osteopathic Physicians: www.cranialacademy.org
AAPMD (American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry) members
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapists (Email me, I’m now a Myofunctional Therapist and can help you over Skype!)
Sleep Medicine Physicians/ Pulmonologists
Buteyko Breathing Lessons
There’s much more to breathing correctly than just nasal breathing, but that’s the place to start. Breathing correctly will help with asthma, sleep apnea, weight loss, and relaxation, as well as a myriad of other health problem. Check out the Buteyko website I’ve linked to above.
|Mary Poppins was so right when she said: “Close your mouth, please, Michael. We are not a codfish.”|
Don’t be a codfish!
All my posts are also on Pintrest!www.pinterest.com/barbaratritz/the-queen-of-dental-hygiene/