ADHD, poor sleep quality, and dental hygienists: The missing link
Could you be one of the missing links in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders in children?
We know that sleep is a medical issue. Oral health is a dental issue. Both are integral parts of a child’s overall wellness.1 But did you know that, in many cases, signs and symptoms of sleep concerns could be present in your dental chair? Sleep is an essential ingredient in a child’s life, and while it is not independent of oral health care, the professionals who treat sleep issues typically are. Many bodily processes occur during a child’s resting state, and scientists believe that sleep is no less important than food and exercise.2 When those sweet, gentle eyes close and soothing breaths rise and fall in the darkness of their rooms, children are given the perfect chance to recharge and restore. However, restless sleep is becoming alarmingly more common, and you, the dental professional, may be the first to notice! In fact, behavioral issues, facial changes, or a decrease in oral health can all be linked to a lack of proper sleep. Additionally, concerns about the child’s airway may be detected by a dental hygienist much earlier than by a parent, nurse, or other medical professional, for that matter.