Breathe in, breathe out. Pretty simple, right? We’ve been breathing since the moment we came into this world, doing it all day, every day—some say nearly 20,000 times per day—so you’d think we’d be pretty skilled at it. But crooked teeth (yes, crooked teeth) show that we’ve been doing it wrong all along.
By design we’re built to breathe through the nose. We see it in children: When babies breastfeed, they’re conditioned to breathe through their noses. This brings the flow of air to the nasal sinuses and helps widen their upper jawbone to properly house their upper teeth. The same goes for older children. When they’re taught to breathe through the nose, their jaws develop as they should and as a result, their teeth grow in straight.
When we think of breathing, we often refer to the huffing and puffing associated with completing a long run, not the constant in-and-out while walking to work, eating breakfast, or lying in bed after a long day. But, when we improve the way we breathe, we can not only get more out of a workout, but we also fix the structure of our jaws and teeth, help lower blood pressure, and even decrease stress. First, let’s address the basics.