You’ve probably heard it before; once you have a child, you’ll never sleep soundly again. When they’re infants, they wake up during the night. When they’re toddlers, they don’t want to sleep. When they’re older, they stay out late, and you worry. Older yet, they have their own life, and you worry more. But you expected this. What you and your child didn’t expect was the sleepless nights, and sleepy days your child has when they suffer from sleep-disordered breathing.
Sleep-disordered breathing exists on a continuum that can gradually worsen to become sleep apnea. Suppose your child isn’t getting the sleep they need because they aren’t getting enough oxygen at night. In that case, you’ll notice immediate and long-term consequences—for example, daytime sleepiness, headaches, bedwetting, learning impairment, depression, and heart problems. Pediatric sleep-disordered breathing and childhood sleep apnea are severe conditions that get overlooked due. ASAP Pathway can help.
How We Can Help (About ASAP Pathway doctor-patient process)
Kids with pediatric sleep-disordered breathing can not thrive. ASAP Pathway can get you in contact with an expert in pediatric sleep-disordered breathing so your child can get the management they need and have a better chance at a healthy and flourishing life.
At its core, ASAP Pathway is an educational resource for dentists. They become members and gain access to hundreds of hours of training, educational webinars, a vast community of other doctors, and much more. Think of it like advanced training that certifies them to manage your child’s breathing disorder. They’ll earn different badges throughout their training that let you know how much training they’ve completed.
Step 1: Find a Doctor
Head to our provider map and search for a sleep dentist near you.
Step 2: Get an Appointment
Hover over a dentist in your area, and we’ll provide you with their contact information. Call the office and request an appointment for your child because you’re concerned about sleep-disordered breathing.
Step 3: Get Your Child Management
Your ASAP dentist will screen your child for breathing disorders at your appointment. If they have a sleep-disordered breathing issue, they’ll present you with management options. All our doctors consider the severity of your child’s condition, the cause, your child’s anatomy, adaptability, and limitations such as budget and schedule before prescribing management. Your ASAP Pathway doctor will inform you every step of the way, and your child will get a custom management plan that’ll work for them and your family.
Management Options for Your Child
We understand that breathing disorders in children can be overwhelming and emotionally taxing. There are many different management options, and they depend on the cause and severity of disordered breathing.
Adenotonsillectomy surgery used to be the standard for managing children with disordered breathing—removing the tonsils and/or adenoids. This can open up your child’s airway if enlarged tonsils or adenoids cause the obstruction. But this is no longer the standard because we, as doctors, understand that we need to manage the cause. This management option is situational, and it’ll only work if an obstruction is causing the breathing disturbance.
Takeaway: If enlarged tonsils or adenoids cause your child’s condition, surgery might be a good option.
CPAP is 100% effective in managing all types of sleep apnea, from mild to severe in adults and children. If your child can adhere to management, they’ll be sleeping and thriving again in no time. CPAP is a machine that provides continuous air pressure and oxygen through a mask that goes over your child’s nose and mouth. For those with obstructive sleep apnea, it keeps their airway open. For those with central sleep apnea, it stimulates the lungs to breathe.
Takeaway: CPAP can manage all types and severities of sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy
If an obstruction is causing your child’s breathing problem, oral appliance therapy can help. It’s a mouthguard-like appliance your child wears while sleeping. It holds their jaw in a healthy position where their airway is open. You may have heard of this management for adults, but it doesn’t stop here for children. The appliance encourages healthy jaw growth, which can cure the problem altogether.
Takeaway: Oral appliance therapy holds your child’s airway open and encourages healthy jaw development.
Myofunctional therapy uses exercise to encourage airway reshaping and jaw development. Like oral appliance therapy, it is a cure for the problem. With myofunctional therapy, your child will experience better breathing all day long, not just during sleep. And it can head off future issues such as not having enough room for all their teeth and TMJ disorder.
Takeaway: Myofunctoinal therapy is a non-invasive exercise-based management that can cure sleep-disordered breathing and head off future issues.
Orthodontics and/or orthopedics
If your child’s jaw is already too far developed and an obstruction is causing problems, orthodontics can help move it into a healthy position, allowing them to breathe all night long. Along with curing sleep-disordered breathing, orthodontics can straighten teeth!
Takeaway: Orthodontics can move your child’s jaw into a position where they can breathe easy all night.
Give Your Child the Gift of a Healthy Future
Your child deserves a healthy future. Make an appointment with an ASAP Pathway dentist and save your child’s future. Check the provider map and call today.