Orthodontics and Sleeping Problems

Children's Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
January 15, 2021

Kid with retainer on bed

What is the connection between orthodontics and sleeping problems, particularly in children? Well, in some cases, orthodontic appliances can be used to treat the cause of a child’s sleep troubles. It’s true! Check out the information below to see what we mean.

Has Your Child Been Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea?

If sleep apnea is the cause of your child’s inability to get a restful night’s sleep, it’s important to search for solutions. And it turns out that one of the treatment options you can consider is orthodontics.

Of course, this will depend on what is causing the sleep apnea, and how severe it is. But if the culprit is a problem with the dental arch or the alignment of the teeth or jaw, the right orthodontic care might make a difference. Who knew, right? 

Here’s an example: if your child’s mouth is still developing, and he or she has been diagnosed with a palate that is too narrow, an orthodontist might recommend a palatal expander. This is designed to widen the palate and help boost the amount of airflow to make it easier for your little one to breathe properly while asleep. 

On the other hand, if your child’s mouth is no longer growing, orthodontic appliances, such as a mandibular advancement splint, might be able to properly position his or her jaw while asleep, thereby helping to improve the way your son or daughter breathes. 

Talk to an orthodontist to figure out if this is a path that you can take to help your child get some much-needed relief when dealing with sleep apnea. With the right strategy, you might even be able to correct problems so that your child won’t have to deal with sleep apnea anymore. 

Other Ways That Orthodontics Might Be Able to Help

In addition to sleep apnea, there are other issues that may arise while your child sleeps, and orthodontics might be a possible solution to those as well. Here are some examples:

  • If your little one clenches and grinds their teeth at night (this is known as bruxism), a dental professional might recommend a night guard to protect those pearly whites.  
  • If your son or daughter breathes more through the mouth than the nose, it might be difficult to sleep well at night. When the cause is something like a misalignment of the bite, teeth, or jaw, orthodontics might be the right solution.   
  • If your child is diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMD or TMJ), and it’s caused by a problem with his or her bite, the right orthodontic care may help. 


Worried About Affording Orthodontics? Consider Dental Insurance!

If you don’t already have orthodontic dental insurance that covers orthodontics for kids, don’t worry! There are plenty of options available, such as those offered by Spirit Dental & Vision. You can search for a plan that will provide you with the coverage you need to afford pricey treatments more easily, and you might be surprised by how affordable the insurance itself can be. That way, if your child ever needs orthodontics for any reason, you can focus more on ensuring your little one will get the necessary treatment to reap the benefits of a healthy smile and healthy sleep.

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