ADHD, Interceptive Orthodontics and Children

Essential Sleep Habits for KidsEverybody knows the importance of sleep, even more so when it comes to the development of your child. Studies as recent as July of this year show that almost one third of the pediatric population suffers from some type of sleep related problem. Restlessness, bedwetting, sleep apnea, and tooth grinding are examples. If left untreated, these poor sleeping patterns can have a negative impact on the development of your child and may lead to behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, anxiety, and moodiness. In fact a recent study completed in Finland in 2009 showed that short sleep was associated with higher readings for ADHD and inattention.

So how can a dental appliance that was initially designed to just straighten teeth also promote better sleeping patterns? Enter Ortho-tain, a company who manufactures two interceptive orthodontic/orthopedic appliances: Nite-Guide and Occlus-O-Guide. While both appliances are used to help straighten teeth, they also help promote the downward and outward growth and development of the upper and lower jaw. In doing so the protrusion of the lower jaw promotes airway expansion allowing for a better quality of sleep. A lot of the sleeping problems mentioned earlier are associated with the poor delivery of oxygen. By expanding the child’s airway, more oxygen is delivered and a healthier sleep pattern is established. Additionally, both devices are worn at nighttime and promote nasal breathing by forming a seal at the opening of the mouth. This helps eliminate tooth grinding and reduce snoring habits in the child allowing for a healthier sleep.

What about the teeth straightening?

Outside of the benefits related to sleeping in children, both devices also provide an excellent course of treatment for many forms of malocclusion in children. When it comes to teeth straightening, many parents do not consider orthodontic treatment for their kids until they reach adolescence, typically around 12 years old. That means starting treatment when the teeth are already in a crowded position, so then the child will have to go to full metal braces to correct the problem. Early orthodontic treatment, between ages 5 and 7, has been shown to easily and effectively prevent future, more painful orthodontic problems. This may allow your child to avoid discomfort and embarrassment because of traditional braces.

Interceptive orthodontics is the definition we give to diagnose a condition in a young child,orthotain appliance from the age of about 5 to 10, where there is going to become an orthodontic problem. By interceding, or intercepting, this potential problem, we can ensure that there will be enough room needed for the permanent teeth to come through and position themselves correctly. Clinical studies show that early childhood orthodontic treatment greatly reduces the need for fixed orthodontic treatment (aka metal braces) or TMJ therapy later in life.

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


6 Responses to “ADHD, Interceptive Orthodontics and Children”

  1. I’ll have to keep this one in the bank, I know I’ll be needing this.

  2. Good article. It’s amazing what orthodontics can do for other areas of our health. Thanks for sharing.

    • Stefanie Zucker sazucker says:

      Agreed! The challenge is of course finding the right way to communicate this so that people can see the connection. Hopefully articles like this by Dr. Williams will help. Thanks for stopping by!


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  1. […] Believe it or not, Pediatric Safety introduced an article regarding how preventative orthodontics within interceptive treatment can help with sleep. This article, ADHD, Interceptive Orthodontics and Children is a wonderful resource if you are researching interceptive treatments for your child. […]

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