Helping Your Kid Catch More Zzz’s!

Pediatric Sleep Apnea Screening in Escondido and San Marcos, CA

Does your child snore or seem restless at night? Do they sleep with their mouth open? Are they susceptible to cavities? Do they have daytime behavioral problems? At Hidden Valley Orthodontics, we offer pediatric sleep apnea screening as part of our new patient orthodontic exam. Did you know that potential poor breathing can affect the development of the skull and teeth? Dr. Fortney is an expert in our community at identifying potential signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in children and providing insights and recommendations to improve the quality of life in your developing child! It is her passion in life to make sure all children sleep and breathe with ease!

Schedule a consultation to learn more about an evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea screening for children, and how it can benefit your child’s health and well-being!

What Is Sleep Apnea and How Can It Affect Children?

During sleep, some children experience sleep apnea, a condition where their breathing can become blocked or interrupted (sometimes completely) for short periods throughout the night. This cycle can happen many times throughout the night, even though they might not wake up fully.

While adults with sleep apnea often feel tired during the day, children might show different signs. They could snore loudly, especially if their mouth stays open while they sleep. They might also seem restless at night, tossing and turning more than usual. During the day, they might be cranky and irritable, have trouble focusing, or exhibit behavioral problems (ADD/ADHD).

These issues can happen because sleep apnea disrupts your child’s sleep quality. Even those short pauses in breathing wake their brain slightly, preventing them from getting the deep, restful sleep they need. This lack of quality sleep can affect their mood, behavior, and growth. It may even raise their risk of future health problems.

The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable! Early diagnosis and treatment can help your child tremendously. While we cannot provide treatment for sleep apnea, we can provide you with testing, referrals, and valuable insight so your child can get the treatment they need.

How Does HVO Screen for Sleep Pediatric Sleep Apnea?

At Hidden Valley Orthodontics, Dr. Fortney uses a proactive approach to screen for sleep apnea in children. 

Here’s what you can expect during the screening process:

Dr. Fortney will carefully examine your child’s face and airway. This may involve looking at their facial features, evaluating facial growth proportions, tongue ties and checking proper tooth development. It is very common to have a narrow palate which contributes to arch crowding and breathing concerns.

Dr. Fortney will take an 3D X-ray of your child’s skull, neck and airway. This low radiation film helps Dr. Fortney see if enlarged tonsils or adenoids might be contributing to the obstruction problem. The nasal cavity and turbinates will be evaluated as well.

Dr. Fortney will also ask you about your child’s sleep habits and any other symptoms they might be experiencing. This information helps her get a complete picture of your child’s overall health and dental development.

If Dr. Fortney suspects your child has obstructive sleep apnea, she may refer your child to the pediatrician or ENT for evaluation.

The physician may recommend a sleep study to truly evaluate the quality of sleep your child is actually getting. This test involves your child staying overnight at a sleep center where their brain waves, oxygen levels, breathing, and movements are monitored while they sleep. The study results can help Dr. Fortney and physicians to recommend the best course of treatment for your child.

HVO Kids Club

The HVO Kids Club is designed for our younger patients before they’re ready for braces or Invisalign. Monitoring the growth and development of their teeth and jaws during this crucial stage will allow Dr. Fortney to identify potential issues early on, greatly reducing the risk of future dental health and skeletal growth problems. The HVO Kids Club also allows Dr. Fortney and her team to build a relationship with your child, ensuring a smooth and comfortable experience if treatment is necessary!

Get Pediatric Sleep Apnea Screening in Escondido and San Marcos, CA

While sleep apnea might seem like harmless snoring, it can have a serious impact on your child’s health. If left untreated, it can affect their growth, focus, and behavior, and it can increase their risk of future health problems.

Rest assured that Dr. Fortney will take a proactive approach to your child’s well-being by conducting a comprehensive evaluation that includes a sleep apnea screening. As a seasoned expert in sleep medicine, she is well known for teaching local dentists and hygienists the importance of identifying and referring to patients with sleep apnea. Through comprehensive guidance, these doctors gain valuable insights into effective screening methods and ultimately foster better patient outcomes and collaborative healthcare practices within their communities.

Don’t wait to address your child’s sleep concerns. Contact Hidden Valley Orthodontics today to learn how we can help your child breathe easier and sleep sounder!