Healthy Start

Our Story

When Drs. Dave and Chelsea’s first son, Calvin, was about 2 years old he started experiencing Night Terrors. Calvin would “wake up” screaming and physically dangerous at the same time some nights, especially if he was overtired. Some nights turned into most nights and there was seemingly no help or advice or cure that they could find. Ludicrous ideas like putting a vibrating pad under his mattress that would wake him up enough to start his sleep cycle over again was all they could find. At the time, Dr. Dave worked with a dentist in Morrison, CO that had recently been trained in the Healthy Start system. One tired morning, Dave and Ken were chatting and Ken recommended he try a habit corrector for Calvin. At two and a half years old, Calvin started wearing his first habit corrector and his night terrors completely stopped. This set Drs. Dave and Chelsea on the path to learning as much as they could about Sleep Disordered Breathing not only in children but adults as well and inspired them to become Healthy Start Providers.


Prevent rather than Correct

The Healthy Start System™ orthodontically treats children early in a non-invasive and natural way to straighten teeth. Drs. Dave and Chelsea Stangl have been offering this innovative system since 2018.

Healthy Start has multiple applications. The primary way we use it in our office is as an early intervention to improve breathing technique, tongue position, and address sleep disordered breathing in young children. We do this with the Habit Corrector Appliance, which trains the tongue to rest on the roof of the mouth and promotes nose-breathing. This not only helps in their overall development but also creates a strong foundation for skeletal growth and permanent teeth.

Some kids are great candidates for the whole program and we do a careful evaluation before recommending if Healthy Start is the preferred approach for your child.

Sleep Disordered Breathing

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is an all-inclusive term for breathing difficulties, ranging from mild snoring to severe airway obstruction during sleep. When your child’s breathing is disrupted, hi or she begins to choke, which slows the heart rate, raises blood pressure, arouses the brain and ultimately disrupts sleep. Traditionally, there have been very few answers to treating this issue, however, Healthy Start gets to the root of the problem rather than treating the symptoms.

How Can I Tell If My Child Has Sleep-Disordered Breathing?

Snoring, restless sleep (including sleepwalking and night terrors), tooth grinding, and mouth breathing are a few of the signs that your child may be experiencing Sleep Disordered Breathing.

Common Sleep Disorder
Breathing Symptoms Include


Swollen Adenoids/Tonsils



Frequent Headaches

Irritability/ Aggressive Behavior

Chronic Allergies

Teeth Grinding

Difficulty in School Subjects of Math, Science, and Spelling


Frequently Waking up

Arrested Growth

Mouth Breathing

Excessively Sweating While Asleep

Daytime Drowsiness


Restless Sleep

Dark Circles under the eyes

How Does The Healthy Start System Work?

The Healthy Start System works with the natural forces of tooth eruption. The soft, comfortable, removable devices gently guide the erupting teeth into the proper positions. In addition, Healthy Start aids in the correct growth and alignment of the lower jaw, expanding the arches to ensure incoming permanent teeth have enough room to erupt and develop proper oral habits.

If you think the Healthy Start System could help your child give us a call and set up an appointment to learn more.

Additionally you can take our Sleep and Speech Questionnaire to assess your child.

Depending On The Age Of Your Child The System Uses a Series Of Appliances:

  • Habit-Corrector: The habit-corrector eliminates or improves current oral habits that can damage your child’s dental health. He or she wears the habit-corrector at night while sleeping. With a design similar to that of a pacifier, your child will become used to wearing a device in his or her mouth every night. This step lasts about 1-5 months.
  • Second Phase: Your child will get an appliance customized and sized for your child to wear every night. It aids the incoming teeth to erupt into their proper places, corrects jaw relations, and expands your child’s arches for the incoming adult teeth. Your child will wear this device for 2-6 months.
  • Final Phase: The final treatment begins with a device that accommodates incoming adult teeth. It begins when your child has at least 4 permanent teeth. This phase is extremely important because his or her adult teeth are forming and the gum tissue fibers are starting to attach the teeth in the mouth. Healthy Start works perfectly to ensure the teeth erupt into proper alignment.