Category Archives: Catlin

Does Your Child Mouth Breathe?


If your child, whatever age, mouth breathes rather than using the nose to breathe most of the time they could be heading for many health problems that could be easily avoided.
To be brief: anyone that habitually mouth breathes is at risk of multiple healthy problems from orthodontic to heart disease.
Children who habitually mouth breathe will usually develop crooked, crowded teeth and fail to develop normal facial features. They will be more at risk of developing asthma especially if there is a family history of asthma. They will probably suffer more throat and chest infections than others simply because they are not using their first line of defence; nose breathing that kills most airborne bugs and aids the immune system.
As they get older and continue to mouth breathe they will begin to suffer the many health problems of chronic hidden hyperventilation, anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension, heart diseases, angina,hay fever, gastric problems, breathlessness, low energy, and the list goes on.

Don’t take our word for this why not watch and hear children who have trained this way HERE This is a great video of a number of children from a Glasgow school who are telling their own story.

This is not a new idea but the dangers of mouth breathing were brought to the attention of the medical profession over a hundred years ago in a book published, not by a doctor, but by an artist who recognised the problem while painting the indigenous population of the Americas. “Shut your mouth and save your life” PDF
Or if you prefer a modern scientific explanation visit the notes on connections with many health problems on The Breath Connection website,or watch this video by an Australian dentist HERE

For more information on the orthodontic side visit The Clinic, an Orthoptropic site where I help with teaching normal breathing HERE

Meanwhile, here’s wishing you all a Happy Prosperous and Healthy New Year and remember ” You should breathe through your mouth as often as you eat through your nose!”

As an experienced Buteyko Method Educator and member of the BBEC I can offer any help you may need to learn better breathing, whatever your problem improved breathing will have a significant benefit for you.

Does Your Child Mouth Breathe? Why This is a Serious Health Problem.


sleeping_babies_with_open_mouth-1680x1050Most parents would rarely notice that their child was a mouth breather and even if they do would not think it mattered much. As long as they are breathing and are healthy that’s all that matters surely?

Well the truth is no! It matters a lot but the unfortunate problem is that you won’t be advised by your GP or dentist otherwise! With rare exceptions I may add.

Problems that may often arise for mouth breathing children include:

Chronic hidden hyperventilation

Crowded teeth & many other orthodontic problems

Poor facial bone development

Repeated throat infections

Asthma in children genetically predisposed

Poor concentration due to brain hypoxia

Behavioural problems associated with the above

A lifetime of many varied health problems if not corrected

See the other blogs relating to some o the above for more detailed information.

Check your child’s breathing today:

1. If a baby, does he or she breathe through the mouth a lot of the time?

2. If an older child see how many steps they can do after a normal out-breath whilst holding their nose and keeping their mouth shut. If they can’t easily manage over 40 steps the chances are they are hyperventilating.

3. For your adult child get them to see how long they can hold their breath for comfortably after a normal out-breath. If they can’t manage more than 30 seconds they have a over-breathing problem that will be adversely affecting their health.

4. Does your child snore in sleep?

Most children can learn to correct their breathing with a little training very quickly and permanently. Contact us for details of distant or face to face training.


“All children who mouth breathe may develop crooked teeth!”

crooked teeth

The link below is a  talk given by John Flutter on YouTube. John is an Australian dentist who has devoted many years traveling the world trying to get this simple message across both to other dentists and orthodontists but also to parents of young children.  LINK
If the consequences of mouth breathing were just an unattractive face that would be bad enough considering how simple it would be to avoid this but the health consequences are potentially far more serious. Any child that normally breaths through the mouth will almost certainly be hyperventilating or in other words over-breathing.

Over-breathing sets in train a host of physiological disturbances that range from respiratory problems such as asthma, through behavioral problems due to poor oxygen delivery to the brain, to serious health problems in later life such as hypertension, panic attacks, and sleep apnoea if this breathing habit continues into adulthood.
Professor Konstantin Buteyko clearly demonstrated these matters from his research in Russia almost half a century ago, a remarkable American artist published a book on this subject over a century ago! (“Shut Your Mouth and Save Your Life“) Yet the message has still not been received by mainstream medicine and dentistry. Perhaps this is not unusual as osteopathy has been around for about 150 years trying to make the even simpler message that the body, like any other mechanical system, is governed by the same laws of physics. That structure governs function and function can alter structure. Apparently in the modern medical mind the human body is unique in the universe in that it does not matter how it is aligned or put together!

Older readers will probably recall being severely admonished by parents if they were caught with their mouths gaping, breathing through the mouth. We were told it was rude, bad manners and that flies would get in! This was good intuitive wisdom, the same wisdom that George Catlin found amongst all North & South American Indians in his travels. These “primitive” people never allowed their babies or children to mouth breathe and would gently close the mouth of a baby if ever they found it open. He also found their children were remarkably healthy and all had beautiful features and well developed facial structures. Unfortunately today flip through any fashion magazine and you will see the majority of women posing with open mouths as this is currently seen as seductive and glamorous. I would just remind them to make sure they close their mouths again after the photo shoots to avoid a lifetime of ill health!


Michael Lingard BSc DO BBEC

(BBEC, Buteyko Breathing Educators Council )

Shut Your Mouth & Live a Long Healthy Life!


George Catlin, an American born in 1796, is famous for his remarkable record in paintings and notes of native Indians but his great genius has been almost ignored till recent years. In his book entitled “Shut Your Mouth & Save Your Life” written in 1870 he details his assertions that the bad habit of modern man of mouth breathing was the cause of much of his disease and disfigurement. This was based on his close observation and questioning of thousands of native Indians & white immigrants. It has taken almost one and a half centuries for modern research in medicine to recognize the validity of this concept. Today there is a growing number of specialist orthodontists and health workers who say the same thing based on sound scientific evidence.

On 5th October 2012 there was a Conference in New York of American Association of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry discussing this association. Since then an increasing number of orthodontists are adding breath training to their regular practice services especially with young children whilst their cranial structures are developing. You may like to read the blog “Beautiful children breathe through their nose” on the website referred to below.

Much of the success of the Buteyko Method of training is due to the elimination of mouth breathing, advice against over-eating, the encouragement of more physical exercise and advice on quality sleeping. The ideas are so simple to teach or learn that they have been dismissed by mainstream medicine that increasingly puts its faith (yes, I use the word “faith” intentionally) in drug therapy or other intensive medical interventions.

The truth is there is little profit to be made from simple remedial systems that could threaten the profitability of our international pharmaceutical companies and the vast industry built on the management of disease if the public were better informed of their existence.
Visit our main site <> for more information & perhaps you might like to download George Catlin’s book at <> bearing in mind it was written almost 150 years ago so you may find the style of writing strange but bear with it as it contains a wealth of thought provoking material. Meanwhile “Shut Your Mouth & start on the road to better health!”

Michael Lingard BSc DO BBEC