Why Being “Airway Aware” Matters for Your Child

I want to make a statement that might shock you, but it is the truth.

No child should ever snore.

Snoring in children is almost always a result of a narrow airway somewhere between the nose and the trachea. It is a sign that the child is having trouble breathing when they sleep.

No Sleep = Slow Death
Sleep is critical to human life. Deep, restorative sleep recharges the cells and gives the brain time to process the previous day’s events, consolidate memories and prepare for the activities ahead. Without sleep we die.

In fact, a study of otherwise healthy rats provided all their basic needs but deprived of sleep led to death within 11 days. It takes just a night or two without sleep for humans to begin feeling the effects.

Children who snore aren’t totally deprived of sleep. However, sleep that is constantly interrupted throughout the night by breathing issues, a condition called sleep apnea, can lead to a host of seemingly unrelated health problems. Because their brains are starving for oxygen, children with sleep apnea often perform poorly at school. They can’t concentrate, can’t retain lessons, and become irritable and fatigued. They appear sickly, as their immune systems, unrefreshed by sleep, fail to fend off common antibodies.

The good news is that this condition is easily corrected. And it is imperative to do so.

There is a Solution

By evaluating CT scan results and understanding the patient’s symptoms, we can create a plan to improve breathing ability by using our airway protocol. This may mean removal of the tonsils and adenoids, if those structures are part of the problem. It may require orthodontic treatments with an expander appliance and braces to open the breathing passageway.

For many children nine and under, expanding the palate triples or quadruples the volume of air they’re able to breathe through their nose. It is important to diagnose the problem as early as possible so that the palate can be expanded while its upper seam has yet to close.

In my book, The Artist Orthodontist, I tell the story of Sadie, who had all the symptoms you read here and more. Her mother was so frustrated and discouraged, she almost cancelled Sadie’s appointment with my office. Fortunately, she didn’t.

After just a few weeks of treatment, Sadie’s entire life began to turn around, and by the end of treatments she was completely cured. Once a tired, distracted, lethargic little girl, today Sadie is a bright, smiling picture of health.

All it took was some attention to her airway.