Kids Don’t Grow Out of It, They Need Your Help—Here’s How: An ADA Children’s Airway Event

July 27–29, 2023
ADA Headquarters in Chicago

ADA CE Live logo and happy girl flying a kite

As a dental professional, you hold the key to finding the causes behind poor behavior, developing bad habits and atypical growth. If the craniofacial respiratory complex is underdeveloped, the body must compromise—and no one can predict the effects of that compromise over a lifetime.

The sooner in life we recognize breathing resistance and bad habits, the sooner we can give the child the best opportunity to thrive. Learn how to accomplish this in Kids Don’t Grow Out of It, They Need Your Help—Here’s How: An ADA Children’s Airway Event, July 27–29 at ADA Headquarters in Chicago. In this course, you will get hands-on with devices, shoulder-to-shoulder with practicing experts, learning new skills to put therapy into practice. Not only will you get practical experience, you’ll also gain enhanced behavioral management skills for young patients and communication skills for both the child and their caregivers/decision makers. The course will feature short lectures, plenty of roundtable discussions, activities aimed at developing action plans and experiences with role-playing and handling various devices.

At the end of this Children’s Airway event, you will be able to:

  • Become more comfortable when communicating with caregivers and patients
  • Understand how different appliances can be used in different clinical situations
  • Appreciate the roles nutrition and a patient’s breathing have on developing bodies
  • Recognize underdeveloped anatomy and create an action plan around it
  • Draw on the connections you formed at this event to support your actions back home
  • Train your team with confidence and enthusiasm

CE hours: 17

Course Pricing

Dentist – Member $1,395
Dentist – Non-Member $1,795
Dental Team (Hygienist, Assistant, Office Staff) $995
Other Healthcare Professionals $995
Student $495

CE Verification

Your CE verification will be added to your account within 10 business days following the closing of the conference. For any questions, contact us at


Thursday, July 27

Behavioral Intensive—Gaining skills to help children participate in their therapy

1 p.m. Welcome
1:15 p.m. What’s Missing in Professional Education?
2 p.m. Demonstrating New Skills
Learner Role Play
2:30 p.m. Getting Families Ready for Intraoral Appliances
2:50 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. Connecting to the Child’s World
3:45 p.m. Assessing Family Readiness for Appliance
4:30 p.m. Q&A and Daily Reflection&mspace;What you learned, what you plan to do differently
5 p.m. Welcome and Networking Reception
Friday, July 28
8 a.m.
What Are We Looking At?
  • Underdeveloped CFRC
  • Bad habits including mouth breathing
  • Imaging—what can we see from a face photo?
8:45 a.m. Learning Activity:
Examine examples and discuss what you see at the table/breakout room. And what other information would you want? How would you present this to the caregiver?
9:15 a.m. Break
9:30 a.m.
Non-Airway Factors
  • Nutrition
  • Bloodwork
10 a.m. Iron and Other Deficiencies Causing Troubles
10:20 a.m. Learning Activity:
Have a look at form examples. How would you use this? What would you say? How can you overcome pediatrician resistance?
11 a.m.
Functional Problems and TOTs
  • Measurement systems
  • Before and after tissue revision
11:25 a.m. Other Functional Issues
11:45 a.m. Q&A
Noon Lunch provided
1 p.m. Nasal Anatomy—Say What Can You See
1:30 p.m. Talking Radiation:
The why, how and what of x-rays on children
1:50 p.m. Learner Discussion and Role Play:
What can you say to caregivers to address x-ray reluctance?
2:15 p.m. Break
2:30 p.m. Nose Clearing and Function
3:15 p.m.
Infant Oral Health Examination
  • History Taking
  • Checklist of what needs to be included
3:45 p.m.
Table Talks—How do the experts use them?
  • Healthy Start devices
  • MyoMunchee
  • Ohlendorf devices
  • Ceph and CBCT data
  • Face Masks
  • Rhinomanometry
4:30 p.m. Q&A and Daily Reflection
5 p.m. Adjourn for the day
Saturday, July 29
8 a.m.
Incorporating Children’s Airway into Primary Care Dental Practice
  • Workflow
  • Profitability
8:45 a.m.
Learner Workshop:
Write down an action plan for how you are going to change things.
  • Who will be responsible?
  • What will be needed?
  • What is the first step?
  • Then what?
  • What will success look like?
  • When will you expect that?
9:15 a.m.
Myofunctional Therapy in the Primary Care Dental Practice
  • How do you know this is needed?
  • When do you introduce it?
  • Fun exercises to do, teach, and expect success from
10 a.m.
Learner Participation:
  • How do you talk about myofunctional therapy to kids and caregivers?
  • Practice the exercises
  • Discussion: how the exercises will be helpful for your practice
10:30 a.m. Face Masks:
Are they advanced therapy, or should they be more common?
11:15 a.m. Lunch provided
11:45 a.m. TMJ in Little Ones
12:30 p.m.
Learner Participation:
  • Role play: Examination details for evaluating TMJs in kids
  • Review forms and discuss how to present to caregivers
1 p.m.
Team Building—Internal and Community
  • It takes a village
  • Finding the key collaborators
  • Nurturing a care group
  • Overcoming professional resistance
1:30 p.m. Key Thoughts from Leaders and Learners:
Q&A and Daily Reflection
2:15 p.m. Action Plans—Become Your Community Children’s Airway Advocate
2:45 p.m. Adjourn to Change the World

Learn more about the speakers

Steve Carstensen, DDS

Steve Carstensen, DDSDr. Carstensen has treated sleep apnea and snoring in Bellevue, WA, since 1988. He serves as a consultant to the ADA for sleep-related breathing disorders, has trained at UCLA’s mini-residency in sleep and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). He lectures internationally, advises several sleep-related manufacturers, directs sleep education at the Pankey Institute and is a guest lecturer at Spear Education, University of the Pacific and Louisiana State Dental Schools. For the AADSM, Dr. Carstensen has served as a board member, secretary-treasurer and president-elect. From 2014 through 2019, he was the editor of Dental Sleep Practice Magazine. In 2019, he co-authored A Clinician’s Handbook of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Lauren Ballinger, DDS

Lauren Ballinger, DDSDr. Ballinger is a board-certified pediatric dentist, a certified specialist in orofacial myology and owner of Good to Grow Airway Pediatric Dentistry in western Massachusetts. As a mother who struggled to find answers for her own children's health challenges, Dr. Lauren has become a passionate leader in educating others about what she "didn't know then, but does know now": That pediatric and child focused dental professionals, through the collaborative management of compromised oral function at birth, and treatment of deficient dental-skeletal growth patterns in the primary dentition, can ease the often needless suffering that impact so many children and their families.

Kevin Boyd, DDS

Kevin Boyd, DDSDr. Boyd is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Chicago who holds an M.Sc. degree in human nutrition and dietetics. He teaches in the pediatric dentistry residency training program at Lurie Children’s Hospital and serves as a dental consultant to the Lurie Sleep Medicine service. Dr. Boyd is an adjunct assistant professor in the department of anthropology at the University of Arkansas and a visiting consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. He lectures worldwide on the topics of early childhood malocclusion (under age 72 months), pediatric sleep-breathing hygiene and evolutionary oral medicine/Darwinian dentistry.

Susan Maples, DDS

Susan Maples, DDSDr. Maples leads a successful, insurance-independent Total Health Dental practice in Holt, MI. She is the immediate past President of the American Academy for Oral & Systemic Health. She is the developer of the Hands-On Learning Lab™ kit, an interactional science-based learning program for dental patients, and, an educational screening tool for patients and clinicians to uncover signs of illness such as obstructive sleep airway disorders and more. She is also the creator of Total Health Academy, a robust online learning curriculum for dental teams to develop a complete oral systemic dental practice.

Stacy Ochoa, DDS, D-ABDSM, F-ICOI

Stacy Ochoa, DDSDr. Ochoa is a Diplomate with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and certified with special knowledge and training in dental sleep medicine. Since 2008, Dr. Ochoa has repeatedly been awarded St. Louis’ Top Dentist status by St. Louis Magazine. Dr. Ochoa is also a fellow with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. She is one of the co-founders of ASAP Pathway, Airway Sleep and Pediatric Pathway. She also helps guide dentists on their paths to bring dental sleep medicine into their dental practices.

Stephen Sheldon, DO, FAAP, FAASM

Stephen Sheldon, DODr. Sheldon is a professor of pediatrics and neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the founder and the former director of the Sleep Medicine Center of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He has been active in the clinical practice of pediatric sleep medicine and has an intense involvement in pediatric sleep medical education and research. Dr. Sheldon’s research has focused on childhood sleepiness and narcolepsy, parasomnias and pediatric sleep-disordered breathing. Dr. Sheldon is the author/editor of Allergy and Sleep and is chief editor of Principles and Practice of Pediatric Sleep Medicine, with a third edition coming soon.

Jodi Walker, MA, CCC-SLP, COM, CYT

Jodi WalkerJodi Walker has been practicing speech-language pathology since 1997, oro-facial myology since 2011 and teaching yoga since 2013. She runs the Center for Svedhyaya (self-study) in Oak Park, IL, serving children and families with and without disabilities to promote health and wellness, self-advocacy and independence. She is trained in Buteyko Breathing Method and John Barnes' Myofascial Release Therapy. She co-founded Nature120, a non-profit dedicated to providing access to neurodiverse-affirming therapy, unstructured nature play opportunities and airway-focused healthcare to traditionally marginalized communities.

Michelle Weddle, DDS, FAGD, D-ABDSM

Michelle Weddle, DDSDr. Weddle is in private practice with both general dental practices and dental sleep medicine-, airway- and TMJ-focused practices in Elizabeth and Watchung, NJ. Her passion lies in the management of airway, sleep and TMJ issues in adults and children. Dr. Weddle is visiting faculty mentor for the Airway Prosthodontics Workshop at Spear Education. Recently, she co-founded ASAP Pathway, a community of dentists learning to implement a collaborative, interdisciplinary model of pediatric airway, sleep and TMJ management in private practice.

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