Addressing Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep apnea in children can cause serious health issues, developmental delays, and behavioral changes that resemble the symptoms of chronic attention-deficit disorders. Consequently, many parents misinterpret these symptoms and expose their children to unnecessary medication rather than seeking sleep apnea therapy.
Dr. Todd Fincher has partnered with HealthyStart™ to provide therapy for children suffering from sleep disorders and improve their quality of life. Dr. Fincher is one of the only dentists in Greenwood, MS, Columbus, and the surrounding areas offering this non-invasive treatment.
Does My Child have Sleep Apnea?
Because sleep apnea is the result of a constricted airway, it can not only cause immediate unrest but also impact attention span and behavior. As a result, many parents misidentify the cause as ADD or ADHD and seek out medication instead of non-invasive, therapeutic sleep apnea treatment.
Parents should keep an eye out for:
- Heavy mouth breathing
- Chronically runny nose
- Dark circles under their eyes
- Poor performance in school
- Depression or moodiness
Unfortunately, unless you monitor your child's sleep, it is easy to miss certain symptoms. Consequently, reaching out for a professional's opinion may pinpoint the cause more quickly and accurately.
In addition to genetic predisposition, there are other factors that can increase the risk of sleep apnea in children, including:
- Crooked or crowded teeth
- Large adenoids and tonsils
- Thumb sucking and other poor oral habits
- Primarily soft diet
- Weak muscles
- Limited breastfeeding
Identifying the cause of sleep apnea can help Dr. Fincher prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Treating Sleep Apnea with HealthyStart
Dr. Fincher offers a program called HealthyStart Ortho-Tain® for children and adolescents suffering from sleep-related breathing disorders. Developed by Dr. Earl O. Bergensen, the HealthyStart program uses a specialized plastic appliance approved by the FDA to train your child's airway to stay open during sleep. Ideally, it is used as early as possible so that the appliance can more easily guide your child's development.
How Does Ortho-Tain Work?
By comfortably guiding the teeth and jaw into a more ideal position, the Ortho-Tain device can help your child achieve the correct alignment and arch growth to set them up for a healthy, straight smile. Depending on the age at which your child begins treatment, he or she will receive a specific number of appliances to be worn every night over the course of several months.
Administering the appropriate treatment early on can improve the behavior, attention, and quality of life for your child.
Parents often notice that, when undergoing this treatment, children improve their behavior, grades, and overall health. In addition to the health benefits, children who have participated in HealthyStart treatment can enjoy a straighter smile without the need for braces. Dr. Fincher is a firm advocate of this treatment because it can transform the health and aesthetics of your child's smile without invasive or uncomfortable treatment.
Ease Your Child's Sleep
Sleep is important to the overall health of children and adults. Administering the appropriate treatment early on can improve the behavior, attention, and quality of life for your child. If you notice your child exhibiting symptoms of a sleep disorder, call Dr. Fincher at his Greenwood office at (662) 453-1708 or reach our Columbus location by calling (662) 328-1825. You can also send us an online message, and one of our staff members will return your message as soon as possible.