Whether you are a parenting veteran or brand new to the game, navigating the world of children’s oral health can be daunting. It’s always a little frightening when your child begins displaying symptoms you’re unfamiliar with. At Woodbridge Kids, we understand the worry every parent’s worries about their children’s teeth and overall health, which is why we’ve created this handy series to help you understand common dental concerns in children and how to handle them.
Most often, children’s dental issues are not life threatening and can be easily prevented with strong oral hygiene routine. However, it’s important that you seek help from your family or pediatric dentist in Vaughan as soon as possible if your child is in extreme discomfort or pain.
Keep reading below to learn about teeth grinding in children in the first part of our series of common child dental concerns.
About Teeth Grinding in Children
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, may seem strange and concerning the first time you hear your child’s teeth scraping together, but it is actually very common among young children. Teeth grinding is an involuntary habit that occurs at night, and often begins when children are toddlers. Most will outgrow it by age 6, but a few children will retain this problem into late childhood and a small percentage will continue to grind their as teens and adults.
What causes teeth grinding in children?
When it comes to teeth grinding, there is no one established cause, but research has been able to determine a list of possible causes. Some causes of include:
- – Pain: for some children, teeth grinding forms as a way to cope with pain from illness (like and ear infection) or teething.
- – Improper alignment: if you child’s top and bottom teeth are misaligned (referred to as “malocclusion”), it can cause them to grind their teeth during sleep.
- – Medical issues: a number of medical issues could also being causing your child to grind their teeth. This issues include dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, etc.
- – Psychological issues: another common cause of teeth grinding are psychological issues such as stress and anxiety. These issues could be caused by a number of factors such as a new sibling, moving to a new house, weaning from breast feeding, or just a change in schedule.
How is teeth grinding treated?
In most cases, teeth grinding is not consider a serious problem and does not usually require dental treatment. However, if you notice your child grinding their teeth in their sleep, it’s still beneficial to schedule an appointment with their dentist so they can evaluate if the grinding is causing any serious problems like worm enamul or teeth fractures. At most, your family dentist may prescribe a custom fitted mouth-guard for your child to wear at night.
How do you handle teeth grinding at home?
Although teeth grinding is not a serious problem within child dentistry, it may be causing problems at home or be signifying problems that you will want to pay attention to. Here’s a number of ways you can handle your child’s teeth grinding at home:
- – For physical causes: if your child’s teeth grinding is due to physical causes, such as pain or illness, do your best to treat the main issue at home or consider taking your child to their pediatrician if you suspect something more serious.
- – For psychological issues: if you child’s teeth grinding is caused by psychological issues like stress or anxiety, do your best to help your child relax by creating a calming bedtime routine or talking through anything specific that is causing their stress.