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Sweet Lullaby: Better Sleep for Children ~ Sidebar

“I understand that great health depends on the ability to breathe efficiently, and the importance of this starts at birth,” says David Porter, a dentist and certified airway mouth doctor at Synergy Dental Center, who practices in Gillette, Wyoming, and Sturgis, South Dakota. He educates parents on the importance of proper facial and airway development in a popular lecture titled Faces Without Braces.

“Proper airway and facial development starts with education about nutrition, feeding techniques, lip ties, tongue ties, jaw position and oral posture,” he explains. “Spaces in between baby teeth are normal and desirable for proper development. Baby teeth should not be touching each other or have signs of wear. When we see this, we recognize that we already have a problem. Crooked teeth or a forward head posture in adolescents and adults is also a red flag for breathing and sleeping problems.”

To correct problems, Porter offers parents a number of options ranging from non-retractive orthodontics and orthopedics to orthotropics. “There is not a one size fits all when it comes to children's airway health,” he remarks. “Airway problems have reached epidemic proportions in our society, and we see this in the literature as chronic disease continues to become more prevalent. Breathing and sleeping are the most important factors in our effort to achieve optimal health.”