Giving back to the community
Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative
Poor sleep quality can have a devastating effect on a child’s development. Poor sleep can cause issues with attention, reading and behavior. But early diagnosis and treatment of sleep related breathing disorders can get a child back on track. Research is showing the positive effects and we may soon see the day when the first question a school psychologist or teacher asks the parents of a struggling student is, “has a dentist checked the development and growth of your child’s mouth?” ADD/ADHD and sleep deprivation in children present nearly identical symptoms, frequently leading to misdiagnosis. Widespread education about the effects of sleep deprivation could help many children get the treatment they need without medication.
We are changing the conversation about childhood behavior.
Through a partnership with the Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative, we aim to expand access to education and early screening of sleep-related breathing disorders. Our mission is to ensure dentists are part of an interdisciplinary team focused on the health of the child.
Studies have shown that 50% of children with ADHD had signs of sleep disordered breathing. This is our opportunity to intervene.
The Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative was started by Mel Blount after his decades long career in the NFL. Their mission is to provide youth with programs that foster a healthy environment to learn, work, play and to develop principles of respect, responsibility, and leadership through: nurturing, moral and character development and guidance.
Because we know so many children are affected by OSA but undiagnosed or misdiagnosed we envision offering OSA screenings to participants in Mel’s programs and camps. The benefit is two-fold: youth have access to free, life-saving care, and dentists have hands-on training experience. Mel’s involvement and celebrity status provide an opportunity to inform a wider audience about dental sleep medicine.