Dr. Meg Specializes in Oral Appliances for Families with Restless Children.
As every parent knows, when your child doesn’t sleep, you don’t sleep. Being the parents of five young kids, my husband and I understand this all too well. Last year, we began to notice that our 6-year-old son was regularly struggling to focus in school, waking up in the middle of the night, obscenely snoring, and running laps in his bed. My husband, my son, and I were all groggy from his restless behavior, and the rest of our children were suffering because of it, too. To make matters worse, we have a baby at home, who already wakes up at random hours of the night.
But it wasn’t until I took a course through Healthy Start that I realized why this could be happening.
I was introduced to Healthy Start by a group of dentists in the U.S. The organization offers safe oral appliances to treat the symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in children. This includes snoring, trouble concentrating, irritable behavior, constant movement in their sleep, and various other conditions. (Sounds familiar, right?) The oral appliance persuades a child’s teeth and tongue to sit properly in their mouth, allowing for proper airflow during sleep while also encouraging proper development for a child’s impressionable mouth. This prevents further conditions from developing and can help your child avoid extensive treatments and issues with their cardiovascular health, mental well-being, and cognition.
Oral appliances are common for teens and adults, whose mouths are nearly fully formed, but formulating these appliances for children, who are constantly developing, is a new area of dental sleep medicine. In fact, in our region, there were only four other practitioners who offered this care for children. It was shocking to find out there are so few resources for families who are kept awake each night and struggling with their children’s behavioral issues. It’s even more surprising when you consider the fact that 9 in 10 children suffer from these symptoms.
But then again, I was one of those moms who didn’t connect these symptoms my son was showing to a larger issue. It wasn’t until I took this the course to become certified through Healthy Start that I realized the very same issues that I was becoming an expert in were symptoms that my son was displaying! As a mom, I get it. It’s hard to balance everything you have to do on top of working or any other tasks you may take on. The connection between my son’s lack of focus in school and his crazed sleeping patterns just didn’t occur to my husband and myself until I took this course.
Now my son wears an oral appliance to bed each night, and at the time of writing this, we are only a few weeks into his program. But we’ve already seen an improvement in his mood and his sleep schedule. (As a bonus, we now get to sleep through the night, too. Well, mostly. We still have a baby at home!)
The last thing you need as a parent is less sleep. I’m proud to offer Healthy Start oral appliances for children because I have seen the direct impact these devices can have on children and their families. As parents, we just want our children to grow up happy and healthy. And I know that begins with a Healthy Start.
Get started with this program by contacting our practice, and learn more about Healthy Start at TheHealthyStart.com. I guarantee we can help your home find peace each night