A new meaning for Teddy BEARS


Teddy bears have always been a hit with most kids and almost everyone has owned and loved a teddy bear at some point in their childhood.  We all know that toys are very important for kids and are essential to help with their learning and growing process. They care for these toys and think of them as their own.  The teddy bear is cherished and loved because they can offer a chance for children to unwind and speak to some one when they are alone. Kids tend to spend a lot of time with these toys and relate to them and bond with them when they are not with their friends and parents.

The love affair we have with teddy bears does not stop when we leave our childhood behind us.  Psychologist Christopher Peterson¹ noted during an informal survey at one of his lectures that a large number of students brought their stuffed animals with them to college.  Most of them are female however, approximately 10% of males had done so.

At HH Wellness, there is a different kind of love of BEARS.  Upon seeking information on  breathing disordered sleep, I discovered that upwards of 25% of children experience a significant sleep problem at some point during childhood.²  This awareness has led me to become “airway-focused” and now help parents, grandparents, pediatricians, pediatric dentists and orthodontists recognize sleep problems in children.

BEARS stands for:
B=Breathing Behaviors
E=Exercising Facial Muscles
A=Airway Health
R=Resting Posture for Lips and Tongue
S=Snoring and Sleep

HH Wellness encourages parents, grandparents or guardians to take the Sleep Disorder Inventory for Students questionnaire so we can catch the early warning signs of breathing distress.  Take the SDIS test here.

What do Do:

  • Read the article below (2) that includes the questionnaire that was used in the study and observe your child or grandchild during their sleep times.
  • Check for enlarged tonsil and adenoids since they may restrict the airway
  • Notice if the child or grandchild is grinding their teeth
  • Recognize what a narrow roof of the mouth looks like or “V” shape upper arch
  • Be aware of bedwetting, night terrors or behavioral issues


  1. Peterson, C. (2010, November 4). Did you bring a stuffed animal to college? The Good Life. Retrieved on March 9, 2012 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-good-life/201011/did-you-bring-stuffed-animal-college
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088759/

Alyse Shockey, RDH, CHHP is an Airway Focused Dental Hygienist and has studied in the Airway Mini Residency program with Dr. Mark Cruz and Dr. Barry Raphael.  

She is also a Certified Specialist in Orofacial Myology (CSOM) through the Graduate School of Behavioral Health Sciences

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