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Your Healthy Family: Just how important is a good night sleep for a growing kid?

Posted at 3:58 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 11:03:50-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Just how important is a good night's sleep? When 4-year-old Brooks Calvert who lives in Colorado Springs was 3, his mom Susan noticed some behavioral issues that many parents likely can relate to.

Susan says she also noticed something else about her son. “He was still at the age of 3, waking up multiple times in the middle of the night. He was grinding his teeth and he was snoring.”

Dr. Jeremy Montrose, DMD with Breathe Correct in Colorado Springs, began his career as a family dentist. Dr. Montrose says “It's pretty common for people to hear snoring in younger kids and it's accepted almost as normal. Most of the time parents are told to just wait and see if they will grow out of it.”

At Breathe Correct, Dr. Montrose now specializes in sleep dentistry focusing on solving a variety of health problems with a broader approach focused on sleep-disordered breathing, or SDB. It’s a general term for breathing difficulties occurring during sleep. SDB can range from frequent loud snoring to Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Dr. Montrose says, “We want to educate adults, children and parents about what is healthy. What we find in our society is a lot of times there's confusion between normal and healthy. Many people think it's normal to snore and it's normal to breathe through your mouth. People think it's normal for a child to toss and turn and have nightmares, or bedwetting or getting up every night and getting into their parent’s bed. Because those things seem to happen to everybody, it’s considered to be normal and healthy, but it's not.”

Dr. Montrose explains, “Over the last ten years or so, there's been a lot of research linking sleep quality to all sorts of health conditions. With kids, they've done huge studies one with 11,000 kids looking at early signs of sleep and breathing disorders, linked with IQ over the first seven years of life, and behavioral issues. They found links between 50 and 100% of increased behavioral issues and decrease in IQ over this time which is not normal.”

Dr. Montrose says the focus at Breathe Correct is making quality sleep a top priority, even for young children. “Even in a 4-year-old - and especially in a four-year-old (like Brooks). This is when they're developing the quickest. There is a lot of brain development and body development, and even slight disruptions to sleep quality can have a huge effect on those rapidly developing parts of the body.”

When a new patient comes to Breathe Correct for a consultation, Dr. Montrose says the focus is first on education. “It starts with the understanding that healthy (breathing) is quiet, easy breathing through the nose with the mouth closed and the jaw in the right position and the tongue on the roof of the mouth. Any deviation from that is going to have an effect. Things as small as mouth-breathing, tossing and turning at night, bed-wetting, night sweats, night terrors, snoring and sleep apnea on the more severe end of the spectrum will have an impact on behavior, especially in growing children.”

Susan says she is grateful that when she began sharing her concerns about Brooks behavior with a cousin, they asked if she had heard of Breathe Correct. After all, when it came to his behavior and his sleep issues, she hadn’t put two and two together. “I think with a lot of people, their automatic assumptions (is) that there is some type of behavior disorder or something like that. I don't think I necessarily put together the whole not sleeping and the behavior issue, until I came in to the first visit.”

Brooks has been in treatment at Breath Correct for about 9 months and Susan says she has seen a big change in her son. His behavior has gotten a lot better. It's very random (or rarely) that he ever throws a tantrum anymore. He's now sleeping through the night; he no longer grinds his teeth and he doesn't snore.”

So how did the treatment at Breathe Correct bring about these positive changes? In our next story we’ll explain his diagnosis and treatment. If you would like more information or have questions about Breathe Correct and the services they offer, feel free to call them at (866) 846-8569 or visit their website (CLICK HERE).

Breathe Correct is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family