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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

ADVERTORIAL: A NEW PERSPECTIVE Everyone is happy when a baby starts to cry loudly and clearly after birth, signalling that it has begun to breathe independently. However, as the baby grows, negative developments can occur that impair breathing. Fortunately, parents have recourse to some tried-and-tested methods to prevent this. Proper breathing is important AUTHOR: DAYO OLIVER Immediately after birth, the baby starts to breathe with its first cry. The lungs inflate and the blood- stream responds to life outside the womb—this is a natural reflex that func- tions perfectly in most cases. Breathing is one of the body’s elementary functions, in which oxygen is taken from the airways to the lungs and then the bloodstream, to keep us alive, breath for breath. As a midwife, I have been able to share in this happiness and experience this first breath many times. Whenever a newborn’s breathing does not progress properly in the delivery room, I am always reminded just how important breathing is for the other functions in our bodies. As we grow, negative developments in the jaw, palate and oral cavity can massively impair our breathing. It has been estimated that only around 20 per cent of these malforma- tions are congenital. Many of them are acquired, mostly by sucking on a thumb or dummy. first choice. The jaw develops naturally as the baby grows, through the nutrition that the baby takes in through feeding. What promotes normal breathing? There are certain prerequisites for nor- mal breathing in a baby or child. The healthy development of the jaw, palate and tongue position are deciding factors. In children, the jaw is still very soft and malleable. Breastfeeding is the best way to promote healthy and physiologically correct jaw development. Latching on to the breast supports the natural develop- ment of healthy facial and mouth tone by training the cheeks, lips and tongue mus- cles. This helps to bring the skull plates into their correct physiological form after birth, which then has an effect on the jaw and mouth. This is only one of the rea- sons that breastfeeding should always be It all comes down to proper breathing There is a difference between mouth breathing and nasal breathing. Nasal breathing—and the related correct po- sition of the tongue on the palate—push- es the top jaw outwards, promoting the healthy development of the palate and tooth positioning. Many children need something in addition to breastfeeding to satisfy their urge to suckle. In most cases, this is a dummy. However, it is often un- fortunately a thumb. Standard dummies do not take into account the movements involved in suckling and the relationship between different spaces in the mouth. Around 70 per cent of children who use 14 issue #1

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