Letter: Nasal breathing is critical for children

Posted

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing the Ask The Doctor article about the health benefits of nasal breathing ("Ask the Doctors: Nose breathing more beneficial than mouth breathing," Nov. 4). The article mentioned some of the benefits of nasal breathing versus breathing through the mouth, by explaining how breathing through your nose increases the oxygen delivered to all the cells of the body. As pediatric health professionals, we want to emphasize the important benefits of establishing nasal breathing as soon as possible for growing children.

Mouth breathing can affect your child's immune system, their posture, their ability to pay attention in school, their mood and importantly, how well they sleep. Sleep Disordered Breathing, which is linked to mouth breathing, in children has been shown to lead to symptoms of ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, bed wetting, and in children before age 5, a potential 10 point reduction in IQ. Mouth breathing can also increase the chances of ear and upper airway infections,gastric reflux, asthma and enlarged tonsils and adenoids. There are certainly other issues that could make it difficult to breath through your nose and keep your tongue in the palate like allergies and/or obstructions (tonsils, adenoids and tongue tie) which may require additional attention, but establishing proper nasal breathing and tongue rest position is critical.

So yes, nasal breathing is vitally important in children for their general health and wellness. It also allows for proper jaw development and skeletal growth, ideal facial development and symmetry and thus enough room for all the teeth to erupt into a beautiful smile.

We teach that the mouth is for eating, the nose is for breathing. Our goal is to establish nasal breathing with lips closed, tongue on the top of the mouth resting in the palate and swallowing without excessive movement of the lower lip and chin. We are seeing incredible results with helping kids breath through their nose.

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With sleep disordered breathing, snoring and sleep apnea becoming epidemic in our modern society, it is critical to recognize, diagnose and treat breathing disorders in children before they develop into adults with serious health issues. Proper nasal breathing in children leads to healthy kids with beautiful faces and smiles that grow into healthy adults.

It all starts with breathing through your nose. Health is beauty and learning how to breath through your nose is the foundation

Lauren Ballinger, DDS,

Steven Yarmosky, DDS,

Louis Yarmosky, DDS,

Pittsfield


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