Treatment at aligned. Orthodontics isn’t just about transforming your smile. It’s also about how you breathe. While this may be surprising, it makes a lot of sense.
Airway function is tied directly to your overall health. Proper oxygen levels affect everything. And as we grow, the development of our nasal passageway, jaw structure, or tongue posture can keep us from breathing like we’re supposed to, leading to improper breathing, sleep disturbances, and other health issues.
Orthodontia that focuses on healthy breathing is called airway-focused orthodontics – and it’s designed to address these problems.
One of the lifelong benefits of airway orthodontic treatment is improving your airway health while creating a beautiful smile full of straight teeth. Join us as we delve deeper into understanding treatment options and explore how airway-focused orthodontics and dental care can transform your life.
What’s Different About Airway-Focused Orthodontic Treatment?
We’re all familiar with braces, clear aligners, and other orthodontic treatments. But what’s different about teeth treatments that focus on airways and breathing? Let’s take a look.
Traditional Orthodontics – Treatment with an orthodontist involves shifting teeth and jaw alignment for function and aesthetics, caring for health issues that affect crooked teeth, facial growth, and difficulties with dental care. Adults and children alike can benefit from improving their smile, but these options treat overall health issues related to the mouth, jaws, and teeth.
Airway Orthodontics – Airway orthodontics do everything that general orthodontia does – but we treat patients by looking beyond the teeth to the rest of the oral cavity. By focusing on everything from tongue posture to nasal passageways and jaw structures, patients can fix underlying breathe-related issues to gain lifelong comfort, general health benefits, and reduce the risk of complications from impaired breathing (while also addressing their smile needs).
Signs That You May Need Airway Orthodontics
Airway orthodontics can help adults and children breathe better and fix symptoms that seem unrelated to proper breathing or dental health. From an early age, a patient’s life and comfort can be impacted by breathing issues and not realize it! The following symptoms are a few more common signs that airway orthodontics could be the right solution for you or your child.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Poor jaw development, tooth misalignment, and other orthodontic issues can cause sleep apnea in children and adults. Repositioning the structure of the mouth with expansion appliances or surgery can open the airway and nasal passages for better breathing and respiratory health during sleep. Snoring, fatigue, insomnia, and sleep interruptions are a few of the indications that you may have OSA.
Your nighttime breathing is tied directly to how well you sleep, and waking up after a night’s sleep feeling unrested is a good sign that something is off. This can impact school or work performance periods, including difficulty focusing or staying awake. If you regularly wake up from a full night’s sleep feeling tired, it could be airway-related.
Suppose your child demonstrates thumb-sucking, open-mouth breathing, breath-holding, trouble focusing at school, dark under-eye circles, or even nightmares periods. In that case, they may have difficulty breathing or habits that will impact the development of their respiratory passageways.
How aligned. Orthodontics Helps
At aligned. Orthodontics, Dr. Vanderstelt aims to enhance your airway health and aesthetics. Our initial step involves identifying existing airway issues, determining their root causes, and exploring potential solutions. At your first appointment, we’ll evaluate your airway health and discuss options depending on your age, issues, and smile goals. Jaw surgery, minimally-invasive expansion, or sleep appliances are all designed to enhance patient breathing. If you’re concerned about how you’re breathing, then it’s time to visit aligned. Orthodontics on Pearl!