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  • Writer's pictureCAFF Team

EPISODE 62 OF AIRWAY FIRST - March Madness edition

Updated: May 21

In honor of Oral Health Month and March Madness, CAFF will be releasing one new episode a day until the end of the month. Welcome to episode 62 of the Airway First podcast! You can catch this and all other episodes on Apple, SoundCloud, Podbean, RSS, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. And don't forget to check us out on YouTube!

Airway First podcast, Dr. Shereen Lim

My guest today is Dr. Shereen Lim, a Perth-based dentist with a postgraduate diploma in dental sleep medicine from the University of Western Australia. As one of Australia’s first handful of dentists to obtain a qualification in dental sleep medicine, she has spent more than a decade working with patients with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Rather than managing dysfunctional breathing and its consequences, Dr. Lim is focused on promoting airway health. This means reinforcing nasal breathing and promoting good airway development from infancy as keys to sleeping well, thriving, and greater future health. Dr. Lim regularly sees infants to adults and has been able to pinpoint the issues in infancy that lead to bigger problems down the track.

She is passionate about educating child health professionals from a variety of fields to recognize the earliest warning signs of poor airway heaLth including poor oral function and poor jaw development and promoting collaborative care to address these as early as possible. Her vision is to help more children receive timely care to breathe, sleep and thrive to their full potential, and avoid growing into more serious problems later in life.

Dr. Lim is a renowned speaker and the author of Breathe, Sleep, Thrive which is available on Amazon.

You can find out more about Dr. Lim at

"We become better advocates for the health of our kids (and ourselves) when we hav a thorough understanding of airway health." ~ Dr. Shereen Lim

Show Notes:


The top jaw has a fibrous layer called a suture. The suture is found in the middle of the top jaw and connects the right and left half. During normal growth the top jaw gets wider. As children get older around their teens, the fibrous layer turns into bone.

In an ideal bite, the top teeth reside outside and cover all of the lower teeth, similar to how a lid covers a jar. With a narrow upper jaw that is in need of an expander, crossbites will often be present.

Orthodontists use expanders for many different reasons. However, there are two main reasons that warrant the use of the appliance:

  • The upper jaw is too narrow compared to the lower jaw

  • The upper jaw can be too small to fit the size of the upper teeth

It is easier to use an expander to widen the jaw or move the teeth to get rid of a crossbite before the suture is replaced by bone. The expander puts force on the teeth using a wire spring or a small screw that is attached to teeth with metal bands.

If the fibrous layer turns to bone expanders may not work as well and other options for expansion may need to be explored, including surgery. Other benefits to an expander include creating space for other teeth and correcting some crookedness. There are also expanders that can help with breaking thumb or finger sucking habits at the same time of expansion.


Accomplished, by Karese Laguerre

Understand airway health to unlock your child's full potential.

Did you know that the way a child breathes will impact every aspect of their development including their sleep quality, learning, behavior, jaw and facial development, speech, and future health?

Common issues children experience such as snoring, disturbed sleep, poor attention and concentration, ADHD-symptoms, difficulties with emotional regulation, recurrent ear infections, speech or feeding concerns, teeth grinding, crooked teeth, and more, can often be symptoms of a bigger, underlying problem. These are all symptoms of dysfunctional breathing and unrestorative sleep.

Many health care professionals are not taught to ask about a child’s breathing or sleep quality, and this knowledge deficit leads to the dismissal of a child's problems. We're told "they will grow out of it," but in the case of poor breathing and sleep left untreated, children often grow into different problems, falling short of their full potential all the way into adulthood.

Dr Shereen Lim was one of Australia’s first dentists to obtain a qualification in dental sleep medicine. She has a decade of experience in managing snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea and is calling for a reformed approach towards airway health from infancy instead of managing dysfunctional breathing and symptoms.

Breathe, Sleep, Thrive will connect the dots to help you identify the important developmental milestones for good airway health development and breathing, the red flags that indicate things are off track, and what can be done about it to help your child not just survive, but thrive.

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