Crooked teeth? Behavioural or cognitive issues? Speech Impairment? Feeding difficulties?
These are just a few of the common symptoms we all too often are seeing in children. But just treating the symptom, would mean we are missing the opportunity to address the root cause, and really make a difference in a child’s learning, craniofacial development, feeding, appearance and so much more. Straight teeth is the bonus!

FACIAL GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT

Children experience significant growth and development during the first 18 months of their life, with approximately 60% of their facial development completed by their 6th birthday. By the age of 12 years, many children would have reached 90% of their craniofacial growth.
A fundamental requirement for children to grow to their potential is good breathing and sleeping. Their academic success, overall health and development can be optimised by ensuring that any airway, sleeping or feeding problems are detected and treated as early as possible.
Our team are committed to ensuring every patient is screened for airways and
sleep disorders. Our approach is to treat the whole person and provide a multidisciplinary approach to treatment when required.

WHAT CAN INFLUENCE FACIAL DEVELOPMENT?

It’s not just about genetics….
• Function of the oral musculature
• Nasal vs Mouth breathing
• What and how we eat
The orofacial complex consists of an intricate pattern of muscles, all serving crucial purposes for breathing, speech and feeding, to name a few. These muscles both within and surrounding the craniofacial structure play a significant role in the development of these bones. Given this knowledge, we are increasingly learning of just how much these muscles are the underlying cause of malocclusions if they are not functioning as required.
Together, our dentists and therapists collaborate to differentially diagnose any
oromyofunctional disorders that may be affecting a child’s jaw development and liaise together to treat effectively and holistically.
Breathing disorders have increasingly become at the forefront of research as the inability to nasal breathe or habitual tendency to mouth breathe has been linked with a longer facial development, lip incompetency, incorrect resting posture of the tongue, feeding and behavioural and learning difficulties.
Mouth breathing during the day usually translates to mouth breathing during sleep, bringing with that a myriad of issues a child or adult can experience as a result. Knowing the signs and symptoms of sleep disordered breathing and seeking early treatment can make all the difference to a person’s quality of life, development and functioning.
Nasal Breathing not only facilitates correct lip and tongue posture, it ensures the air we breathe is humidified, filtered and moistened as it passes through the nasal turbinates. There is also growing evidence of the importance of the naturally occurring Nitric Oxide which is found to be picked up en route to the lungs when nasal breathing.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR CHILD
– Snoring or Audible breathing during sleep Mouth breathing or open mouth posture
– breathe pauses during sleep
– restless sleep, sweatiness
– Fatigue, irritability or daytime sleepiness
– Hyperactivity or attention deficit
– bed wetting, sleep talking or night waking
– teeth grinding