It’s not fun when your kids have trouble sleeping. You’re both tired throughout the day, and it’s difficult to focus on getting things done. Sleep apnea can impact children in a variety of ways, from contributing to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral issues, to impacting development and growth.
Our dentists can help you get your child back to sleep. Her unique training in nursing, sleep apnea and dentistry allows her to evaluate your kids airway as well as their facial growth and development. Often, Dr. Robin Khan or Dr. Melissa Nensel can evaluate how shifting the teeth with orthodontics can improve their sleep. They can offer your kids a sleep apnea solution, such as the Myobrace® and myofunctional orthodontic appliance systems, as these are intended to prevent further health issues. Dr. Hoefs of Craniofacial Pain Center also consults with our pediatric cases to help your child improve air flow and resolve restless sleep patterns.
Here are some signs of sleep apnea for kids and ways our dentists may treat it.
SIGNS OF KIDS WITH SLEEP APNEA
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), as many as 4 percent of children have sleep apnea, and one in every four children with ADHD may have a form of obstructive sleep apnea. These children are often between the ages of 2 and 8 and suffer from things like bed-wetting, sleepwalking, disruptive behavior and even problems with growth and metabolism.
Fortunately, there are multiple signs for children with sleep apnea. Here are some of the most common, according to an article in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery:
- Snoring and/or difficulty breathing during sleep
- Chronic mouth breathing during sleep
- Night sweats
- Frequently changing sleep positions, or a preference to sleep upright
- Tiredness or trouble paying attention during the day
- Any other signs suggesting ADHD
If you’ve seen one or more of these signs in your child, it’s important to visit Drs. Khan and Nensel today!
TREATING KIDS WITH SLEEP APNEA
In the past, surgery was the standard solution for treating sleep apnea in children, but there are more options today. One of the most popular treatments is the use of oral appliances from the dentist.
Especially helpful in children six or older, these oral devices adjust the tongue or jaw to open up the airway and promote a more restful sleep. Since children are growing, these devices can be customized or adjusted multiple times. Overall, studies have shown an improved quality of life in children who use these oral devices.
Our dentists enjoy helping kids overcome sleep apnea and get back to sleep. She can work with you to ensure the best oral development your child needs to succeed.
Our dentists consult on sleep apnea cases with two local pulmonologists, Drs. Naresh Dewan and George Thommi. This helps protect your child’s heart health through quality sleep. We also are affiliated with HealthyStart™, an organization dedicated to providing a permanent solution to your child’s sleep disordered breathing.
To learn more about how we treat kids with sleep apnea in Omaha, Nebraska, please contact Dentistry For Health at 402-932-0282 to schedule an appointment!