"I’ll keep my mouth closed and I’ll breathe through my nose." Finn, The Very Stuffy Nose
Mouth Breathing and Nose Breathing are not the same.
Understanding the Differences
Kelley Richardson specializes in helping parents and medical providers identify signs of sleep and airway disorders in children. By raising awareness and providing education, she empowers parents to take proactive steps and enables medical professionals to recognize subtle indicators, ensuring appropriate intervention when necessary.
Until our son, Finn, was 6 years old, he had not slept through the night… We thought we had tried everything, and we were tired. It never occurred to us to look at how he was breathing.
Take a look… is your child breathing through their nose or mouth?
It turned out, Finn was a mouth breather. We had no idea his mouth breathing habit led to nasal congestion. We learned that an open mouth posture makes it harder to get restorative sleep. Sleep quantity is not necessarily restorative unless it is quality.
He was a restless sleeper. Tossing and turning, he would repeatedly call out through the night for help. His breathing was labored, he was sweating profusely during naps and at night. He suffered from nightmares and dark circles under his eyes. Despite waking up tired and yawning, he had an abundance of energy throughout the day. He developed eczema on his face and was congested to the point of trying to clear his nose and throat several times a minute. He was clearly in distress.
Was it Physiology? Allergies? Diet?
After years of doctor appointments and medications, we were still no closer to finding the root cause. Until a conversation with a dentist. The dentist explained how the nose filters, warms, purifies and humidifies the air coming into our body. Mouth breathing doesn’t do this but instead can lead to nasal congestion and enlargement of tonsils and adenoids. The first step to resolving his fragmented sleep and disordered breathing was to transform Finn’s breathing habit from mouth breathing to nose breathing.
This was the beginning of our journey to helping our son sleep and breathe better, but it was a very crucial first step. Our intent is to spread the word that how we breathe matters, and with a focused approach you and your little one can become super nose breathers.
What worked for Us
By transitioning Finn’s:
Breathing – from mouth to nose and through proper nasal hygiene, breathing exercises and expansion orthodontics,
Sleeping – from restless and fragmented, to deeper and restorative levels of sleep by improving his breathing and sleeping environment.
About Kelley Richardson
The Healthy Airway
Hi, I’m Kelley, a mom, wife, author, and clinical education specialist, dedicated to improving breathing and sleep quality.
With over 25 years in the dental industry, I’ve focused on training dentists in expansion orthodontics at Invisalign and ClearCorrect, TMD solutions and dental airway education at the Dawson Academy. I’ve received training in Myofunctional Therapy at the AOMT and Breathing Coaching at the Buteyko Clinic International with Patrick McKeown.
At Super Breathers, our mission is to raise awareness among parents, caregivers, teachers, and medical professionals about identifying and screening children with signs of disordered breathing and restless sleep. We provide simple to advanced implementation strategies through our partnering organizations to address the root causes of disordered breathing.
Interviews & Blogs
Learn more about Kelley and Airway, as featured here:
Florida Airway CoLab, Founder
Toronto Symposium, Toronto, ON, June 2023
The Importance of Nasal Breathing on Sleep & Concentration, Cherokee Bend Elementary School, May 2023