Saturday , February 27 2021

It’s Children’s National Dentistry Month: The Importance of Oral Health and Restorative Sleep

By Dr. Thomas Harter

Oral HealthMany grandparents are in the best position to step in and step up during Children’s National Dentistry Month to make a difference in their grandchildren’s health. We all want our children to thrive in all aspects of life. Strong healthy well-balanced children are the world’s future. In the book- Sleep Wrecked Kids- by Sharon Moore, grandparents can learn how to raise Happy Healthy Kids one quality sleep at a time, and dentistry plays a huge role in regenerative sleep.

Most parents are so busy in the everyday life. It makes it tough to gather facts about the major crisis plaquing today’s children, (the lack of proper restorative sleep). We all know that we need our beauty sleep. However, awareness and lack of professional medical/dental education has left parents frustrated without a clear direction or diagnosis of their “problem child” that is not thriving. These children are often diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), other behavioral problems, stunted growth, repetitive infections, mouth breathing, bed wetting, poor grades, teeth grinding, malocclusion (bad bite), crooked teeth, poor posture, headaches just to name a few.

Doctors trained in sleep disordered breathing for children evaluate the teeth, nose, facial structures, jaw growth and sleep studies. The correction of air flow disruption allows the child to have peaceful restorative sleep. The dentist trained in this field corrects this problem using the latest technique in guiding the physical development of the craniofacial growth patterns including the upper and lower jaws, deficient jaw growth and nasal airflow deficiencies.

Sleep is absolutely essential for every component of physical and mental development from the first day of life to the very last. What is happening now more than ever before in our industrialized world is the poor development and function of the craniofacial structures that restricts air flow beginning with the nose. As nasal airflow restriction develops, emergency mouth breathing is activated. The nose is for breathing and the mouth is for chewing and speech. Mouth breathing prevents the tongue from pushing the jaws outward to form the arches for beautiful smiles that were natural in the nonindustrial age. In our modern world, our diet has changed from the home garden to the processed canned, bottled, boxed, and preservative impregnated foods. The soil is lacking minerals and so we have full bellies, but food potency and vitality is very low. Inflammation from sugar and other irritants can swell the soft tissue in the nose restricting air flow. The soft diet prevents the normal stimulus that would have directed the growth and strength of the jaws and tooth positioning. Together these things have a downward spiraling effect on the child’s health and wellbeing and through awareness and training a new trend of health can begin now.

Adults are well aware of the chronic medical conditions of hypertension, stroke, cancer, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Sleep Apnea, CPAP machines, Obesity, loss of life, the crippling cost of insurance and healthcare; we can do better. Your experience and wisdom as Grandparents can change our world and give children a fighting chance to live a life full of all potential, to thrive as we were meant to. ”

Here at TMJ, Sleep and Dentistry, we evaluate children for the core issues that cause these problems. We want all children to live to their full potential and experience the best life has to offer. You may wonder why a child is unhealthy and have reason to believe sleep difficulties could be a contributor.

Many times this is the case as statistics show that sleep disordered breathing awareness or treatment has not been implemented in our society. Up to 1/3 of children today have a sleep disordered breathing condition. Breathing is the number one priority for life and any disruption of this process sends alarm bells to the brain for emergency action to survive.

These alarms are stressful to the mind and body and as this battle for survival continues the child presents with a variety of ailments.

We treat both children and adults.

Contact our office at 352-203-4493, or to find out more, please visit

Dr. Thomas Harter
Dr. Harter is highly focused on providing the latest in non-invasive treatment protocols for treating children and adults for sleep disordered breathing, sleep apnea(ADHD/ADD in children) TMJ disorders, Chronic pain and headaches. He continually attends educational programs to learn the best techniques to deliver treatments that solve the problem by getting to the core issue at hand. He is a member of the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre International, Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry, and the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.

Practice Areas
• Dentistry
• Orofacial Pain Dentistry
• Sleep Medicine Dentistry

Dr.Thomas Harter, DMD
TMJ Sleep Therapy Centre & Dentistry
2609 SW 33rd St Suite 104
Ocala, Fl 34471
(352) 203-4493


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