Is Your Toddler Mouth Breathing? Why & How To Fix It

Toddler Mouth Breathing is a serious issue. That’s a bold statement, but it’s one that needs to be made right away since far too many parents dismiss mouth breathing as a harmless breathing process that their child will someday outgrow.

I’m sure you want your child to be healthy and well as they grow up – what parent doesn’t? Mouth breathing, on the other hand, jeopardises such objectives. If your child is one of these mouth breathers (like I was for most of my liufe!), it means they aren’t breathing or swallowing properly.

This can cause short- and long-term health problems, as well as alter your child’s face development (it can even be the cause of a narrow face in children). It all adds up to a decline in the child’s health, a loss of confidence, and a diminished overall quality of life.

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What Could Be Causing Your Toddler’s Mouth Breathing?

toddler brushing teeth

It’s not always evident why a youngster breathes via his or her mouth instead of through their nasal passages, and there may be multiple factors that overlap. The most common reasons are as follows:

  • allergic rhinitis
  • asthma
  • blocked nose / chronic nasal congestion
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • large tonsils
  • anatomical problems
  • chronic colds or respiratory infections caused by run down immune systems
  • thumb sucking and long term dummy use
  • nasal obstruction
  • tongue tie
  • thumb suckins

Why Is Mouth Breathing No Good For Toddlers?

The physical development of a little one is harmed by chronic mouth breathing, it’s as simple as that. Open mouth breathing causes your child’s face structures to alter over time, potentially leading to:

Overcrowding and crooked teeth

Face and lower jaw symmetry are unbalanced.

Deformities that are visible (inc unnaturally long face)

Gums that are too visible (a gummy smile)

A small mouth

Persistent discomfort

A narrow palate

Academic performance issues due to poor health

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be diagnosed as a result of the above behaviour (who would have thought that mouth breathing could lead to such behavioral issues!)

Chronic fatigue stemming from lack of sleep

Nasal breathing is hands down better for your toddler, yourself and any other child’s health! Mouth breathing is the cause of a whole host of dental problems and issues with dental development – AND, it also causes bad breath and no-one wants a part of that.

Signs and Symptoms of Toddler Mouth Breathing

Outside of vigourous physical activity, normal breathing should be done through the nose (unless they’re sick with a stuffy nose – which is just temporary until they get better and return to nose breathing). When a child’s mouth is open, it doesn’t always mean he or she is breathing through their mouth. Mouth breathing can be detected by sleeping with their mouth open – so if you spot this, and if you suspect your child is a mouth breather, obtain a professional diagnosis from a doctor or dentist.

Children who breathe through their mouths frequently exhibit symptoms of associated issues, particularly if their sleep is disrupted. Signs of mouth breathing include:

  • snore or grind their teeth while sleeping
  • are exhausted during the day
  • have behavioral problems or focus problems at school (from poor sleep or restless sleep)
  • wet the bed after the age of six
  • have a constant dry mouth

Make an appointment to see a dentist or other health expert for a physical examination if you see any of these symptoms in your kid, or anything else that concerns you, to schedule an assessment and discuss appropriate treatment.

How To Fix Toddler Mouth Breathing

The most important thing is to make an appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist if you observe symptoms of mouth breathing. For a proper diagnosis and treatment, you will be referred to another professional. Among the choices to try and fix this bad habit are:

  • Teach your youngster to breathe via their nose using breathing retraining and proper tongue posture.
  • Allergies, thumb sucking, and infections are all treated with this method.
  • Braces are used to guide the jaw and teeth movement during orthodontic treatment.
  • Adenoids, a deviated nasal septum, tongue-tie, or swollen tonsils can all be removed with surgery.

Toddler Mouth Breathing Essential Resources

MYOTape Sleep Strips for Infants & Children

IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE – gently restores functional breathing for better sleep, better health and better quality of life.

Glow Dreaming Teething & Sleep Support Bundle

Glow Dreaming Sleep Aid is designed to bring sleep to those who need it most – your darling little one

Toddler Mouth Breathing: FAQs

Why is my toddler breathing through his mouth?

Because there is no other way for your youngster to acquire enough air, mucus obstructions may necessitate reflexive mouth breathing. They could be suffering from the same cold, flu, or allergies as their older siblings and parents.

What is mouth breathing a symptom of?

Nasal obstruction (when your nasal airways are partially or completely blocked) is a common cause of mouth breathing. A blocked nose can be caused by a variety of factors, including: Adenoids, which are the tissue patches in the back of your throat and above your tonsils, are enlarged. Allergies to the nose

What does it mean if a toddlers mouth is always open?

Allergies, persistent colds/stuffy noses, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, asthma, a deviated nasal septum, and other breathing disorders can all be linked to open mouth behaviours. It’s worth noting that even if the airway problem is cured, the habit persists.

Is it normal for a toddler to sleep with mouth open?

If a child’s mouth rests in an open position, this doesn’t always indicate mouth breathing. Sleeping with their mouth open is a good indication of mouth breathing, so if you think you’re child may be a mouth breather, you should get a professional diagnosis by a doctor or dentist.

Why can my child not breathe through their nose?

Chronic swelling of the adenoids and/or tonsils is likely to be the reason of your child’s inability to breathe through their nose. If your child can breathe through their nose but keeps their lips open 90% of the time, they have an open mouth habit that can be easily remedied with certain exercises.

Why Trust My Toddler Life?

toddler mouth breathing

My Toddler Life is run by mama’s, for mama’s. All information provided on our site is thoroughly researched and takes in to consideration our lived experiences and the opinions of industry professionals. How are we different from other sites doing the same thing? We have fun while doing it (often with a glass of wine in hand) and don’t take ourselves too seriously! 

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