Inadequate sleep can affect your child in many ways. One study found that 10% of patients aged 6-17 seeking orthodontic are at high risk for sleep related breathing disorders. At Marin Ortho, we are especially mindful of the importance of screening our pediatric patients for possible sources of labored breathing during sleep. Our 3D CBCT scan is an invaluable tool in this screening. It allows us to visualize enlarged tissues such as the tonsils and turbinates, as well as congested areas, such as the sinuses, that may be impeding the flow of air during sleeping. Orthodontists are also trained to detect oral manifestations of labored breathing during sleep such as narrow dental arches, dental crossbites, open bites, tongue thrusts, etc.
We may ask if your child snores, experiences pauses, gasps, or snorts during sleeping, has unusual sleeping positions such as neck hyper-extension, experiences excessive sweating at night, has trouble waking up in the morning- even after sleeping a normal amount of time, experiences sluggishness or sleepiness during the day, or exhibits hyperactivity, attention deficit and/or irritability. This questionnaire can help prepare you for your first consultation with us: Pediatric sleep questionnaire.
There is an increasing awareness that breathing difficulty during sleep in children can be improved when addressed with early orthodontic treatment as a stand-alone therapy or in conjunction with other therapies prescribed by your child’s physician, ear-nose-throat specialist (otolaryngologist), and/or other sleep medicine specialist. Treatment options can include widening of the palate or fabrication of other oral appliances.
Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire