There are several effective sleep apnea treatments for children that vary depending on the case and severity. First, there’s surgery to remove enlarged adenoids and tonsils. If obesity is the underlying cause of a child’s sleep apnea, then a doctor may encourage a lifestyle change. This includes plenty of exercise and a healthy diet.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is another option. This delivers gentle air pressure via a mask worn during sleep, and it helps to keep your child’s airways open. Unfortunately, this option can be hard for children (and adults) to adapt to because the device can be cumbersome. Many tubes come out of the machine and a mask must cover the mouth and nose. While the therapy does work, many find it hard to fall and stay asleep.
Depending on the age of your child, you can turn to your Miami Beach dentist for treatment options. Young kids that are still growing can use a “palatal expander” orthodontic appliance. This helps open their airway up and widens the roof of a child’s mouth subtly over time. It also separates bones that won’t fuse until adolescence. Another bonus of this treatment is it can eliminate or reduce the chances your child will need orthodontics in the future.
Meanwhile, teenagers can often benefit from oral appliance therapy (OAT). It’s similar to a custom mouthguard and repositions your child’s jaw during sleep. As it places the tongue away from the back of their throat, it reduces the likelihood of obstruction. Many adults turn to this treatment, too, because it’s far easier to fall asleep with than CPAP. And, it’s just as effective.