A kid’s habit of breathing through mouth is often ignored. Most of the parents take it lightly, but chronic mouth breathing can have severe effects on facial development and overall health of the kid. In our previous article Mouth Breathing and its effects we have already discussed about the causes and effects of mouth breathing in detail. This article discusses about how to put a stop to this habit.
Mouth breathing may seem like an easy habit to break, just close your mouth while breathing, right?
But unfortunately mouth breathing habit is really difficult to break. During sleep you can’t control the way you are breathing. This is because all of the muscles of the face and the mouth have been programmed to help through mouth.
In order to stop mouth breathing, the muscles must be re-trained to function in new ways.
First approach towards this problem is diagnosing the cause behind mouth breathing through thorough clinical examination and with necessary diagnostic X- Ray and test.
Clinical examination includes:
Various diagnostic x-rays can also be done to detect the cause of mouth breathing. Like lateral cephalogram or other neck region x-rays can be done to detect enlargement of adenoid. OPG or other nasal x-rays can be used to detect nasal septum deviation.
The first part of treatment always includes removal of cause
Any nasal or throat infection or obstruction should be removed by consulting an ENT
If it is due to narrow nasal passage or upper jaw, consult an Orthodontist/dentist. He might help you with expansion of the upper jaw with the help of maxillary expansion removable plates, thus leading to widening of nasal passage.
Use of an oral vestibular screen (mouth guard) given by orthodontist can be used to establish lip seal and thereby helps to reduce mouth breathing.
Orthodontic (braces) treatment is advised to reduced teeth protrusion and thereby to improve lip seal and mouth breathing.
Alternatively adhesive tapes placed on the lips can also be used to establish lip seal
Train yourself to breathe through nose using these steps
Consult a Myofunctional therapist (MFT), they help you learn in a healthy way. MFTs are skilled at helping children and adults gain control over muscle patterning habits, including those involved in mouth breathing.
Do not take your kids habit of breathing through mouth lightly. It may have serious consequences on their facial appearance and overall health.
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