Editor’s intro: The HealthyStart® system, a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical that uses a series of specially designed appliances to promote proper breathing habits, provides early intervention to children up to 12 years old. Read this product profile and see how your practice can offer children a healthy start!
Dentists are playing an increasingly active role in helping patients address sleep and breathing disorders. The number of undiagnosed patients with sleep-disordered breathing is far too large of a public health concern for dentists not to be screening every patient. Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB) affects every aspect of a child’s life and it is imperative to identify and treat the root cause of these issues. If you are a dental professional new to the arena of sleep or working with children, HealthyStart will provide you with all of the necessary education and tools for both the doctor and staff to identify, evaluate and understand the treatment protocols for these patients.
The HealthyStart® system is a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical that uses a series of specially designed appliances to promote proper breathing habits. The HealthyStart system addresses mouth breathing, snoring, open-bite, cross bite, narrow palate, improper jaw development, speech difficulties, thumb/finger sucking, and improper swallowing. In addition, the HealthyStart system treats orthodontic problems such as crowding, overbite, over jet, gummy smiles, and class III corrections.
A recent study of 501 HealthyStart patients, from the ages of 2 to 19, found that 9 out of 10 children display at least one symptom of Sleep Disordered Breathing (Stevens and Bergersen, 2016). This study also found that between 4 and 12 years of age, 92.6% of symptoms did not self correct while 30% worsened with age.
Early intervention is critical when addressing sleep issues. The optimal age for a HealthyStart patient is as soon as symptoms are identified, as early as 2, but up to 12 years of age. The first step to identifying outward symptoms of SDB is to have a parent complete the HealthyStart Sleep Questionnaire. This requires a parent to identify a series of 27 potential outward symptoms. Each symptom is scored from 1 to 5 indicating its severity, zero being not present and five being severe. The score is used to help families and providers track progress and reinforce good habits.
The HealthyStart system is a series of oral appliances that are worn primarily at night, with older children requiring an addition of two hours of daytime wear. The initial HealthyStart appliance, the Habit Corrector, provides built-in myofunctional therapy, activated by a swallow, to create correct tongue placement, proper swallow and expansion of the arches. At night, while asleep, a child swallows one time a minute, providing 500 repetitions every night to quickly eliminate improper habits and substitute proper habits.
HealthyStart is streamlined to ensure success and is suitable for any dental professional who is just starting their career or looking to expand his or her practice into pediatric sleep. The HealthyStart system is a perfect adjunct for any practice to improve the overall healthcare benefits for their patients. The dental professional and staff can be certified in a 7-week digital self-paced program with a live, interactive forum each Friday. Two free full cases are included that the doctor will treat simultaneously while taking the course. Live courses are also available throughout the US.
Additional adjunct educational platforms available to each provider with educational modules, doctor forums, and staff forums to ensure all questions are answered. Continuing education about sleep allows providers and team members to add to their knowledge, treatment proficiency, and confidence. These forums create an environment for HealthyStart doctors to discuss current treatments, procedures, questions, and provide a platform for dentists from all over the world to help other dentists.
The HealthyStart system allows collaboration to occur between dental professionals and physicians such as ENT specialists and pediatricians. Through HealthyStart, health care professions can create new avenues of referrals, while providing more comprehensive treatment to ensure better care for the overall health of patients.
The HealthyStart team provides consistent and individualized support to aid all providers when transitioning this system into his or her practice. This system allows team members to be the primary therapists, with the doctor involved only about 20% of the time.
An additional feature is that our practices find, on average, each patient treated with HealthyStart results in 4 – 10 additional patient referrals with no further marketing expense.
Sleep-Disordered Breathing is an epidemic and dental professionals have the power to help children who are suffering everyday. Despite this epidemic, many parents do not have knowledge or education of sleep-disordered breathing. This leads to symptoms being mistaken for other various developmental problems. It is the dental professional’s job to educate these parents and address the root cause of their child’s issues. The importance of identifying and treating these symptoms at an early age, during their growth and development, is imperative and the window of opportunity closes at about age 12. The field of dentistry is constantly changing and evolving. The subject of sleep, breathing and airway issues is critical. Don’t be left behind. Investigate assessing Pediatric Sleep Disordered Breathing and how to incorporate treatment with HealthyStart into your practice. Every child deserves a Healthy Start!
For more information about HealthyStart, visit www.thehealthystart.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-446-7600. Visit http://www.healthystartwebinar.com and click on the Parent Education tab. Register for a HealthyStart Medical Webinar at www.healthystartwebinar.com/medical-webinar-presentations/.
Do see Dr. Earl O. Bergersen’s article on the HealthyStart® system, titled, “The perfect start system is effective in addressing sleep-disordered breathing in children.”