The brain grows rapidly during the first 6 years of life and in turn, the cranium is growing, as well. This cranium growth influences the facial growth until about age 6 as this is when the cranium usually stops growing. However, the face continues to grow out from under the cranium until puberty.

After age 6, one of the key influences of facial growth is nasal breathing. In order for the face to grow as it should the tongue needs to be in the right position in the palate, the lips need to be sealed and breathing must be nasal. To achieve ideal function and aesthetics of the face these three things must happen during these key developmental years.

Almost 50 percent of 6-year-olds don’t breathe nasally well. This is extremely concerning because it affects the facial growth patterns in a negative way and has many health implications and aesthetic implications. Correcting breathing during childhood gives children the best chance for fully developed facial structures.

One of the most common times for children to begin mouth breathing is at night. This can be especially challenging to notice once children reach age 6 and most sleep in their own rooms. It’s imperative for mouth breathing to be addressed and corrected as early as possible, especially in children during the developing years. Sometimes, a child may still breathe nasally but may not be breathing efficiently through their nasal passages, and this alone can create changes in the facial growth pattern and cause other complications. When nasal breathing is not optimal the face gets longer, narrower and collapses back.

To find out more information about epigenetic orthodontics and how Dr. Buck helps open and protect the airways during a child’s most important developmental years, visit our page on Epigenetics and Children. To schedule an appointment or for any further questions, call our office today at 206-316-8286.