Have looked in on your child during the night time hours and saw more than just an innocent little sleeper experiencing sweet dreams? Maybe you’ve observed your child moving their mouth and have heard the sounds of grinding teeth.
Medically termed “bruxism”, this is actually very common among kids. In fact, up to 3 out of every 10 children will grind or will clench their teeth while sleeping. It occurs when a child is experiencing stress and/or they are in a state of deep sleep.
What Causes My Child to Grind Their Teeth?
In all actuality, there may not be an underlying cause. In other cases, it could be that the teeth are not properly lined up, the child is suffering from some type of pain, they may have stress in their life, they may be angry or tense, they may be hyperactive, suffering from the side effect of a medication that they are taking, or – perhaps – they have an underlying medical condition.
Do not worry just yet, though. It could just be something really simple and your child may overcome this all on their own.
Will Teeth Grinding Hurt My Child?
In most instances, you have nothing to worry about; however, there are negative effects associated with grinding the teeth.
You may discover that your child complains of their head hurting or that their ears ache. In severe cases, nighttime grinding of the teeth could wear down the teeth, resulting in cracks or chips to the enamel, and cause extreme tooth sensitivity, irritability, and the onset of conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disease.
How Can I Help My Child with Teeth Grinding?
As a parent, there are several steps that you may take to help your child overcome the issue of grinding their teeth at night.
First, you should make certain that they take the time to properly relax prior to bed. If you notice that your child is experiencing stress, try to uncover the issue and help them to overcome it.
For severe teeth grinding, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a pediatric dentist. This professional will help to ensure that the habit is not causing issues with the teeth and the surrounding tissues and bones.
If it is causing issues, they will be able to identify that and treat it.
Prevention and Treatment Strategies
In most cases, teeth grinding will only last a very short time. The main thing is to ensure that your child is calm and relaxed.
Be their biggest supporter.
If you would like information on how to prevent nighttime teeth grinding or would like to learn more about how to help a child that grinds their teeth at night, we can help! Simply call us today.