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Posts Tagged ‘sleep apnea dentist’

What You Didn’t Know About Sleep Apnea in Toddlers & Kids

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

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Do you know what the signs of sleep apnea in children are?

Signs of disturbed sleep in our children and toddlers include:

  • Snoring
  • Long pauses in breathing
  • Tossing and turning in bed
  • Chronic mouth breathing while asleep
  • Night sweats
  • Waking up with headaches or irritability
  • Daytime hyperactivity
  • Difficulty concentrating

Whether it’s a child that just seems much too sleepy throughout the day, or one that always has “bags” under her eyes, there are lots of other subtle signs that some degree of sleep apnea might be occurring in our kids.

Interrupted Sleep is Just as Bad for Adults as it is For Kids

The term “sleep apnea” is actually derived from the Greek word that means “without breath.” Just as it sounds, it is a serious condition! Just think: our children can actually be pausing their breathing cycles as they sleep.

For children between 2 and 8—and even beyond these years—having disturbed or interrupted sleep can have major implications on their health. Some research has even suggested that sleep disordered breathing directly impacts cognitive flexibility, self-monitoring, planning, organization, and self-regulation of affect and arousal in our children. Pediatric sleep disorders not only wreak a heavy toll on our children’s ability to thrive, but it’s not guaranteed that kids will just “outgrow” their sleep disorders.

If you suspect that your child might have sleep apnea or some kind of disturbed sleep, let us know. The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are actually more common in children than you may realize. Of course, sometimes, it might not mean sleep apnea, but you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to find out.

The Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea by Dr. Hagen

One solution, whether your child suffers from snoring, sleep apnea, or a combination, is using a custom-fit dental sleep appliance. As recommended by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this is a treatment that can greatly help children.

At Hagen Dental, we can diagnose and assess the severity of any form of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. After we take a look at your symptoms as well as risk factors, we can construct the appropriate sleep appliance that is best for you/your child.

The Mandibular Advancement Device, also known as MAD, is comparable to an athletic mouth guard. The Tongue Retraining Device, TRD, is a splint that will hold your child’s tongue in place while they sleep.

You will be able to have a solution that is small, light, and easy to put in and take out—which means children will actually use it. The goal of both devices is to keep the airways open as much as possible throughout the night. More than 90 percent of those who use the sleep appliance have successful improvement.

Over time, these devices are adjusted as needed. Besides seeing an improvement in sleep in many those who wear the small devices, many are also able to reduce or eliminate their snoring altogether! For kids, this can have great effects on their health and quality of sleep for a lifetime.

Ready to learn more? We would be happy to answer any of your questions: give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

A How-to Guide: Protecting Your Child’s Oral Health

Friday, October 11th, 2013

It’s time to brush up on how to help our kid’s develop healthy oral health habits. Here are five proactive measures you can take to protect your children’s smile: 

1. Consistently model good oral hygiene habits.

You aren’t aiming for perfection, but what you should do is strive for consistency when it comes to your own oral health habits. Kids truly take notice, as they do with other behaviors they watch and adopt.

Consider taking time out to floss with them—the time will go by faster, and this way, you know they are doing it correctly. And nothing works better than reinforcing kids and telling them a “job well done” when they, too, show commitment to their health.

2. Make tooth-brushing time a positive time.

Sometimes kids start to dread the entire process in which brushing teeth and flossing happens to take place. Oral hygiene routines generally take place before school, and once again before kids have to go to bed. If you take a positive approach to the process as a whole, the getting-ready-for-school and going-to-bed tasks won’t be perceived as such a dreaded process that they want to avoid each day.

Consider setting a timer for 2-3 minutes, and encourage children to see if they can “outlast” the timer. Some toothbrushes even have a timer on them. Just make sure that they don’t end up brushing their teeth harder if this “game” mentality is adopted.

3. Explain to children what sealant’s DON’T prevent.

Sealants are a very thin layer of plastic filling material used to protect harder-to-reach areas in the mouth. Sealants are used to literally “seal off” these crevices and grooves that our floss and a toothbrush have a hard time reaching. By doing so, sealants help prevent bacteria growth in these areas. Sealants do not prevent teeth decay in others areas, however. When used in combination with good daily habits, they can act as a preventative measure to help molars remain decay-free.

4. Let children take “ownership” of their oral health.

Consider taking your child with you to the store to pick his or her toothpaste out themselves. Or, if you prefer, let them pick out their toothbrush from the children’s oral health section. Either way, this helps reinforce the idea of responsibility, and taking control of one’s cavity-free mouth! It also helps reward children for being involved in healthy habits.

5 tips for better oral health for kids

5. Don’t shy away from taking the time to talk with Dr. Hagen.

Even if you’re doing your best to supervise your children as they brush, or perhaps you are already flossing with them, there are others issues that we are here to help clarify for you. Take, for example, your child’s specific fluoride needs.

Another important point of communication with your dentist can involve antibiotics. Discoloration, as well as other issues, can occur from prolonged use of certain antiobiotics. Not only that, but certain children’s medications also have a large amount of sugar in them. If the lines of communication with us are open when they need to be, we can work together to combat preventable problems. Talk with Dr. Hagen to learn more.

Remember, start small. And don’t forget to encourage along the way.

Taking these five tips into account, you will be well on your way to helping your children create their very own “bedtime ritual.” Be sure to look for other ways to make health education more interesting for your child. Take for example, this video on how to brush properly.

Your goal is to incrementally build positive habits, not necessarily expect our children to immediately adopt a daily regimen that we can even struggle with.

Have other tips you use when it comes to modeling and reinforcing positive hygiene habits with your family? Let us know on Facebook at
Be sure to schedule your next appointment for the family before the end of the year! Get in touch with us by clicking here.