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How Do I Stop My Child From Grinding Their Teeth?

added on: June 20, 2024

Teeth grinding in children, also known as bruxism, is a common issue that many parents might not recognize until it becomes a significant concern. Often occurring during sleep, this involuntary habit can lead to dental problems if not addressed early. Understanding the causes, signs, and available treatments is crucial for your child’s oral health. So, let’s explore everything you need about kids’ teeth grinding.

What is Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which children clench or grind their teeth. This often occurs during sleep, but it can also happen during the day. While it may seem alarming, it’s actually quite common among children. The good news is that many cases of bruxism in kids don’t require treatment and should decrease between 6 and 9 years old. Many tend to stop the habit completely by age 9 or 12. 

  • Causes
    • Stress
    • Anxiety
    • Misaligned teeth
    • Sleep disorders
    • Other medical conditions.
  • Symptoms
    • Worn tooth enamel
    • Tooth sensitivity
    • Sore jaw
    • Earaches or headaches
    • Sleep disturbances
  • Diagnosis: A bruxism diagnosis is often noticed by parents or during routine dental check-ups with your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands. Your child’s pediatrician may also suspect teeth grinding with symptoms of facial or oral pain or soreness while chewing.

Impact on Dental Health

Chronic teeth grinding can have several impacts on a child’s dental health, which include:

  • Tooth Damage

Continuous grinding can wear down the enamel, leading to tooth decay and sensitivity.

  • Jaw Problems

Bruxism can also cause jaw pain and headaches and even alter the shape of the face.

  • Other Dental Issues

Teeth grinding may also lead to other dental problems like TMJ disorders.

Prevention and Treatment

Thankfully, several practical strategies can help manage or prevent teeth grinding in children as well as any discomfort that comes along with it:

  • Stress Reduction: Teaching children relaxation techniques can significantly help.
  • Proper Jaw Alignment: Consulting with a pediatric dentist about orthodontic options to realign the jaw can relieve bruxism.
  • Using Mouthguards: A custom-fitted kids mouthguard for teeth grinding can protect teeth from grinding during sleep.
  • Massaging the neck, shoulders, and face can help relieve pressure and pain and will probably feel good and relaxing. 
  • Avoiding hard or chewy foods: Foods that are hard to chew put stress on jaw muscles, making them feel even more sore. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly and experienced staff is here to provide the best care and advice for your child’s dental health.