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Children’s airway health solutions

As a devoted parent, you naturally want your child to have the benefits of proper healthcare. However, you and your pediatric or family physician may be overlooking an important aspect – children’s airway health. Dr. Oliva Hart is experienced in the identification and treatment of conditions that, without early intervention, can have a grave impact on lifetime wellness.

Understanding kid’s airway health

This area of dental medicine involves helping your child breathe clearly and naturally, providing vital oxygen levels that promote whole body health, mental acuity, and physical development. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common culprit. Yet it is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed since symptoms are different in kids than in adults.

Does your child have warning signs of airway issues?
  • Mouth breathing
  • Dry, chapped lips
  • Foul breath in the morning
  • Gingivitis
  • Unusual sleep positions
  • Excessive movement during sleep
  • Bedwetting or using the bathroom frequently at night
  • Nightmares or night awakenings
  • Snoring (although this symptom is not always present)
  • Recurring respiratory infection
  • Lung infections
  • Daytime lethargy, OR hyperactivity
  • Problems concentrating

Sleep apnea is an even bigger concern with children than adults because their developing bodies and brains require sufficient oxygenation. Untreated airway issues can result in continued and more severe sleep apnea as an adult, and the elevated health risks that go with it – obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, premature births, and more.

Dental treatment for children’s airway health issues

Dr. Hart works closely with your family physician for integrated care, that typically begins with a sleep study. In some cases, surgical removal of enlarged adenoids or tonsils may be recommended.

Most patients, though, respond well to non-surgical treatment:
  • Myofunctional therapy expands the palate, providing additional space for natural airflow. This course of treatment addresses mouth breathing and improper tongue and oral postures that inhibit respiration. It also helps teeth come in straight (without extractions) and contributes to attractive facial development with a strong chin and profile.
  • NightLase laser therapy shrinks excess tissues at the back of the throat.
  • Lip- or tongue-tie is released with a quick and painless laser procedure.

Contact Dr. Olivia Hart of Richmond Family Dentistry to receive expert diagnosis and treatment for your child’s possible airway issue. Click here to make an appointment now or call (804) 381-6238 or email at to learn more.
Children Airway Health


I have never received such a thorough and comprehensive dental appointment. The dental hygienist, Jessy, was very knowledgeable and professional as well as friendly and kind. Dr. Hart utilized multiple assessment tools to determine an appropriate treatment plan. I left the office with several recommendations including supplement support for cavity prevention! My whole family will be receiving her services.
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