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Suggest treatment for poor muscle tone

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Answered by

Pediatrician, Pulmonology
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1804 Questions
My 10 year old son has Down Syndrome. He is physically quite strong and does not show much "low tone". He is non-verbal, but eats all foods. My question is whether or not I should try to train him to close his mouth when he's at rest. He lets his jaw hang down (like many with DS do) with his tongue kind of sticking out. He is perfectly capable of closing his mouth and keeping it closed, such as when I cue him when we are near each other watching TV, but is this a losing battle??
Posted Sun, 31 Aug 2014 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Arun 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
keep teaching

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing to healthcare magic.
These kids may have poor muscle tone, and also their tongues may be set forward in their mouths. Their mouths are open because, when they are young, they have small bones around their noses and cheeks abnd therefore it is easier for them to breathe through their mouths. They may also get colds more often, and when you have a blocked nose you have to breathe through your mouth. However, as children with Down syndrome grow older, their bones grow, and it becomes less difficult for them to breathe through their noses. They need to be taught at a very early age to close their mouths and keep their tongues in, otherwise it becomes a habit which is hard to break.
Keep teaching him constantly to do so even when he is at rest.
Dr Arun
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest treatment for poor muscle tone 5 hours later
Thank you very much! I won't feel so guilty now when I tell him to close his mouth. I'll keep on him. :o)
Answered by Dr. Arun 7 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
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