This is Orthodontics from a Teen’s Point of View, in this case, our friend Hawley.
I’m going to warn you, this blog is about a terrifying subject: Obstructive Sleep Apnea. What is that? Imagine you’re sleeping away, nice and peacefully, dreaming sweet dreams about your crush when suddenly, your airway closes, you choke, gag and wake up. You may not even notice because you fall right back asleep, but in reality, this happens many times a night. You may have seen commercials for it, and you are probably thinking, “Isn’t that just in old people?” Actually, it happens in kids and teenagers a lot more than you realize.
What makes Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) so terrifyingly scary is that it creates cardiovascular stress, which can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and even death. I’m too young for that! A bit less serious, but still a problem, is that OSA is also associated with hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, ADD and ADHD. In fact, many kids taking meds for ADHD could also have sleep apnea!
With OSA, it all comes down to an obstructed airway. If you have a narrow upper jaw and an overbite, you’ve probably seen an orthodontist and don’t even know your likelihood of experiencing sleep apnea is high.
This problem with traditional orthodontists is that they immediately turn to extracting teeth to give adult teeth more room to grow in, but this only makes OSA problems worse. Removing teeth causes the lower jaw to remain in poor positioning reducing the airflow even more. A few orthodontists know that Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be avoided and treated by not pulling teeth. They use appliances to slowly widen the upper jaw, rather than resorting to surgery. They make sure the nasal passageway is cleared, and their techniques help the lower jaw to grow forward to balance with the upper jaw. The end result is a better smile, no sleep apnea, and probably much less ADHD.
I personally get my treatment at New Early Orthodontics, where they don’t pull teeth or do any surgery, and they use appliances to correct jaw problems. About half their patients don’t need traditional braces, and they help treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea in kids my age.
Parents who want to understand more about how New Early Orthodontics works to help more than just misaligned teeth should contact them for a free consultation. With less time and expense than traditional braces and a natural cure for childhood sleep apnea, they will be thanking you, or at least, should.