Breathing through the mouth, rather than through the nose, might seem like a minor annoyance at best. But mouth breathing can lead to a host of problems. Mouth breathing is associated with sleep apnoea, and its effect on quality of sleep can lead to irritation, weight gain and inability to concentrate. To avoid these health risks, doctors and dentists alike recommend correcting breathing habits.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Orthodontic corrective device
- Nasal dilator strips
- Saline spray
Use an orthodontic device. Corrective devices are best for young children who breathe through their mouths. An orthodontist can prescribe and design a fitted orthodontic training device that keeps the lips closed and encourages nasal breathing. The device should be worn at night and for at least 1 hour during the day, for a period of 1 year.
Wear nasal dilator strips. These adhere to the sides of the nose and are intended for use at night. The strips adhere to the sides of the nose and lift the nasal passages, facilitating nasal breathing. Nasal dilator strips are an effective cure for snoring and for some cases of sleep apnoea.
Use a nasal saline spray. Saline sprays are available as prescription or over-the-counter medications. They act as a mild decongestant for the nose, and they clean out mucus, pollen, and other allergens, making it easier to breathe through the nose.
Get tested for allergies. If your nose and sinuses are often congested, you may have an allergy to something in your environment, such as pet dander, mould, or pollen. Getting treatment for the allergy as well as avoiding known allergens may help alleviate nasal congestion and prevent mouth-breathing.
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