Teeth Grinding in Children

Teeth Grinding in ChildrenWhat You Need to Know About Teeth Grinding in Children

It can be distressing to discover that your child is grinding his or her teeth while sleeping. You may wonder whether this habit is normal, or if you should be worried that something is wrong. Read on to discover why there is teeth grinding in children, and what can be done if your child has been exhibiting this behavior.

Why Kids May Grind Their Teeth

Bruxism is when children grind their teeth involuntarily. It isn’t clear what exactly causes this, but several factors have been linked to teeth grinding in kids. Dentists in Georgetown, KY says kids can grind their teeth due to anxiety, stress, pain, nutritional deficiencies, cerebral palsy, hyperactivity, or the effects of some medications.

How Prevalent is Teeth Grinding in Children?

For every ten kids, two or three grind their teeth. However, Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, Louisiana, says these estimates may be low since many parents never discover that their kids grind their teeth. Fortunately, research also indicates that the vast majority of kids who grind their teeth outgrow this habit.

How to Tell If Your Child Grinds Their Teeth

Experts at ThoroughDent Smiles say that parents should not bother asking their kids whether they suffer from bruxism. This is because one will hardly find a kid who knows that they grind their teeth. In fact, most adults who grind their teeth learn about it from other people who observe them and notice that they grind their teeth while they sleep. The following measures can help you to discover whether your child grinds his or her teeth.

Monitor Them At Night

One way to find out if your child grinds his or her teeth is to monitor that child while they sleep. You can set a timer to wake you up so that you go to your child’s room and observe them for several minutes to discover if they have bruxism. You can also ask kids who share rooms to tell you whether any of them has noticed that another one grinds their teeth while sleeping.

Check the Child’s Teeth

Dr. Kristina Neda advises parents to check the teeth of the child in order to get clues about possible bruxism in that child. You should be concerned if the teeth are flat or have the same length. This is because this uniformity may have been caused by the wear suffered by the teeth as your child grinds them while he or she is sleeping.

Interact With Your Child About Stress Factors

It is also helpful to talk to your child about anything that may be causing him or her stress. For example, is your child being bullied at school? Does he or she feel that you are placing him or her under a lot of pressure? Identify and try to find solutions to anything that may be causing your child to be anxious or stressed.

The Effects of Teeth Grinding on Kids

Eroding Tooth Enamel: Teeth grinding creates a serious risk that the enamel of your child’s teeth will be eroded over time. This can expose the softer dentine and create room for additional problems, such as teeth sensitivity. Dr. Matt Laurich explains that many kids who grind their teeth end up with severely eroded enamel.

Headaches and Pain: Kids who grind their teeth while they sleep often develop jaw pain and headaches. Some even develop earaches that can affect the quality of their lives.

Poor Quality Sleep: Dentists in Georgetown, KY say that teeth grinding is actually a sleep disorder. This means that your child will not have sufficient rest if they keep grinding their teeth. Consequently, the child is likely to feel drowsy during the day. That child’s concentration may also be affected if their sleep was disrupted by teeth grinding.

Treatment Options for Bruxism in Kids

The treatment option selected for a kid suffering from bruxism will depend on the diagnosis of what could be the underlying cause of the teeth grinding. For example, a child who is grinding his or her teeth due to stress can get psychosocial support to end the problem.

For safety reasons, Dr. Jordan Smith normally prescribes a night guard for kids that grind their teeth. This device is normally customized so that it fits the child perfectly. Your child can then wear this guard as other means are explored to resolve the problem.

As earlier mentioned, many kids outgrow teeth grinding, so you should only be concerned if you notice that the symptoms of the habit are severe.

As a parent, remember that teeth grinding isn’t unique to your child. Visit ThoroughDent Smiles to examine your child to find the best way to help that child to overcome this problem.