Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Mouth Breathing and the Mama Bird
Some of you may have read an earlier post about the varmint that moved into my attic this spring. It turned out to be a raccoon with four babies, but they are gone now after spending six weeks with us. Bear with my city girl excitement here...we now have a robin's nest in the tree in our front yard. I have been watching the mama bird since she started building the nest. I've noticed on multiple occasions that she sits in the nest with her beak slightly open. At first, I thought perhaps she was "giving egg" (as opposed to "giving birth") but she has continued to do it off and on for over a week now. I have seen her with her beak closed, so I'm curious about the open beak posture. When I work with kids who are mouth breathers, I encourage the parents to rule out allergies if they have not already done so. A child with swollen tonsils and adenoids may also be a mouth breather. Children who are chronic mouth breathers tend to have chapped lips with reduced sensation, so drooling may be more of a problem because the children are not aware of it or do not feel the wetness as acutely as most. For some children, the initial physical cause may have cleared up but mouth breathing has become a habit. If a child's mouth is open because that's the only way he can breathe comfortably, however, there is no point in addressing the open mouth posture until the underlying cause has been treated. Breathing will always come first. Once breathing is not an issue, you can begin to work on lip closure and better mouth and tongue postures. As for the mama bird, she seems to be doing well. I've decided that birds (at least the mamas) must not ever have AD/HD, or they would not be able to sit there for hours and hours being as immovable as a statue. They may, however, have swollen birdie adenoids for all I know!