BackgroundThe prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in children is underestimated due to impediments in detection and diagnosis. Consequently, delayed management may affect the quality of life and the growth and development of a child. Due to their patient demographic, orthodontists are optimally positioned to identify those at risk of sleep-disordered breathing and make referrals for investigation and management. This study aims to determine the prevalence of children at risk of sleep-disordered breathing in an Australian orthodontic population. MethodsA 1-year retrospective study was conducted in an urban Western Australian private orthodontic practice with two branches in similar socioeconomic demographics. The responses of new patients to a modified paediatric sleep questionnaire and standard medical history form were recorded. ResultsIn 1209 patients (4-18 years), 7.3% were at risk of sleep-disordered breathing. An association between sex and the potential risk of sleep-disordered breathing was found with 11% of males at risk of sleep-disordered breathing compared to 7% of females (P = 0.012). ConclusionsThe relatively high prevalence of children at risk of sleep-disordered breathing presenting for orthodontic care presents an opportunity to identify at-risk individuals through routine use of the paediatric sleep questionnaire. This would facilitate early referral for diagnosis and management of sleep-disordered breathing.