What if it isn’t ADHD?

The teacher is sending emails home, your son or daughter is struggling to stay on task in school. With the number of kids in the classroom and the curriculum demands the teacher isn’t able to give your child the attention they need to succeed. You might even feel some pressure to have your child diagnosed or put on medication so they aren’t a “distraction” in the class room, but you are not sure about the side effects or having your child labeled. There may be another option. In recent studies it has been shown as many as 50% of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD actually have sleep disordered breathing. It makes perfect sense, if your child can’t get enough quality sleep they will fidget more to stay awake, they will have trouble turning what they learned the day before into memories. You may notice dark circles under their eyes that have been attributed to allergies. During deep sleep our bodies regulate hormones which control mood, weight and growth. Some children who lack quality sleep will be smaller in size due to inadequate growth hormone production or they may exhibit aggressive behavior because their emotional well-being isn’t rejuvenated the way it should be.

There are a number of things that can cause a child’s airway to be smaller than it should be. Tonsils and adenoids that are too big can be a source but improper jaw position, shape or tooth malalignment also play a role. Children who breathe through their mouth instead of their nose are much more likely to suffer from colds, flu, sore throats and ear aches. Additionally an open mouth changes the tongue position and shape of the jaws over time.

You may notice that your child snores or grinds their teeth. Both of those are a sign of a narrowed airway. You may notice that your child moves around a lot in their sleep, their sheets end up in a tangled mess or they may sweat a lot at night. This too can be a sign that they are not getting the restful sleep they need for optimum health and performance during the day.

At Designer Dentistry & Smiles we can run some simple tests to measure your child’s airway and overall sleep quality. We have comfortable and easy to use solutions to correct jaw position, tooth position and tongue posture. We can work with your child to help them breath through their nose and start feeling better. We have already helped some 4 and 5 years olds with school performance and bed wetting issues all by addressing the underlying cause that is right under their nose – their mouth! It’s called the Healthy Start program. If you are wanting to help your child with focus, behavior, growth and frequent illness without a label and without the use of drugs then the Healthy Start might be for you. Another nice benefit of aiding younger children’s jaw development is the reduced need for braces. When we guide the permanent teeth into place as they are erupting that often times means their bite is correct and the teeth are never crooked therefore the need for braces just never develops saving Mom and Dad thousands of dollars.

Call our Sioux Falls Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.