I have a son who is soon turning three and  so he has been growing up during the exact time that i have been educating myself about malocclusion and its effects.  Unfortunately at the time he was born I was still only applying my knowledge to myself, and it took me up until about his 14th month before i started taking notice of the fact that he was mouth breathing (a dentist actually pointed out the fact that he had his mouth open in almost all of my facebook posts).  So that is roughly when I began my war on his mouth breathing.

How have I carried out my ‘war’ for the past nearly two years?

  1. Diet – a couple years back i had read Weston Price and of course was enthralled.  So we switched to mostly organic foods and began giving him cod liver oil and K2 supplements.
    weston price
  2. Hard food – in 2014 i was also reading a lot about Orthotropics and so put a lot of effort into getting him to eat hard foods like beef jerkies, steak, etc.
    orthotropics
  3. Reminding him to keep his mouth closed – after watching a video of Mike Mew doing this with his own child about a year and a half ago, i’ve also been an absolute pest about this with my son.  I mean an absolute pest even in public.. to the extent that other parents think i am strange (note that after what I went thru in 2014 b/c of this stuff and the fact that i wore ugly splints in my mouth for well over a year.. my ‘not giving a shit about what other people think’ factor is quite high.   Probably too high actually..
  4. Myobrace – i’ve been using myobraces with him on and off for the past 18 months or so.  And find this to be a great tool for getting him to switch from mouth to nose breathing…  in particular by giving him gulps of water with it in every time he drops his mouth open.
    myobrace
  5. Myomunchie – also i’ve seen inconsistent success in this appliance which ive used on and off for nearly a year.myomunchie
  6. Tongue positioner -i tried this appliance for a couple months back a year ago and found it to be useless, so haven’t used it since.
  7. Sunlight – after reading about the massive D3 sufficiency in humans and deciding to take superdoses of D3 myself, i have tried to maximize my son’s exposure to the sun. In particular when we lived in Vietnam.
  8. A splint that slightly raised the height of his back teeth – i was given this one at the outset of this year by my dentist and have seen some success with it.  Basically it was designed to open up airway space and encourage his second molars to extrude further.
  9. Osteopath – ive taken him to several osteopaths to ensure everything  was moving and functioning correctly… and found this to be of minimal use.
I’ve had some success with these techniques and have probably tried many others that i am forgetting at the moment, but can honestly say that despite all this effort I have far from won the war.  He still has an upper jaw that is too small for his tongue and so his tongue posture is low, and his airway space is compromised causing him to mouth breathe.  And so we are now gearing up to put ALF on my son, which is supposedly quite consistent in bringing results.
alf
But now back to the main point of my article…  for about the past two years I have been a keen observer of the behavior of not just my son but also other kids (and note that we have a very high exposure to kids as parents).  And what i have noticed is the following:
  1. when nose breathing my son is always calm and does not get emotional.  I am talking pretty much ALWAYS.  Meaning i do not remember a single exception to this rule…
  2. The only times he cries and acts up are when he is mouth breathing.  And note that this happens on average a few times a day at least.
    toddler
  3. If he was sleeping with his mouth open he is often quite cranky after he woke up.  And if he was not, than it is always a calm morning for him.  Again, i do not exaggerate when I say ALWAYS.
  4. He pays attention and learns much better when he is nose breathing (ie. i definitely see the connection of mouthbreathing to ADD)
  5. He never hits another child when he is nose breathing… but has done so many times when mouth breathing.
  6. When we spend time with parents of kids who are 100% nose breathers we see a blaring difference in terms of behavior.  Their kids are always much calmer and less apt to emotional outbreaks.

This pattern has been  so stupidly obvious to me that I do not bother wasting any more time reading the numerous books that we had originally bought on child raising/behavior and instead focus my effort on conquering this single arch enemy…  mouth breathing!

 

books

And so every time my mother or friends of ours decide to tell us their philosophy on child behavior, i just smile politely and nod my head while thinking to myself that they are so full of it.  A pattern that has consistently proven itself correct time and again on a daily basis for two years ceases to become a hypothesis in my view… and simply becomes fact.