CHILD BRUXISM CAN be a real cause for concern. Many parents have heard their children (loudly) grinding their teeth while they sleep at night, or even during waking hours. You may worry about the health of your child’s teeth or what their tooth grinding habit means and what has caused it. We hope this blog post answers your questions!
Most commonly, bruxism (chronic teeth grinding) occurs at night. The causes of bruxism are not entirely understood and every child is different. Teeth grinding can occur due to teething in infants, or even when children get their permanent teeth. Others may do it in response to pain, frustration or stress. Some may have a habit of grinding teeth in sleep or clenching teeth in sleep due to improperly aligned teeth. Certain medical conditions as well as genetics may also make people more prone to brux.
Bruxism is fairly common among children. In fact, between twenty and thirty percent of children grind or clench their teeth at one point during their childhood. The good news is, most outgrow it and do not incur any lasting damage to their teeth during a teeth grinding phase.
If you suspect your child is grinding their teeth, it’s important to take them to your dental care provider. Some symptoms of bruxism include:
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or you suspect that they grind or clench their teeth frequently, pay a visit to your pediatric dentist. Fortunately, most cases of bruxism in children do not require treatment, as it usually goes away over time. However, depending on the cause of your child’s bruxism, your dentist may recommend various treatment options. For example, if your child grinds their teeth in response to stress, perhaps a more calming bedtime routine would help.
During your visit, your dentist will examine your child’s teeth for tooth enamel wear and damage. If there is damage, or your child grinds their teeth very frequently, your dentist may recommend a custom-made night guard to protect teeth and hopefully prevent grinding.
Whatever the reason for your child’s teeth grinding habit, Dr. Ball would love to help! Have any more questions or concerns about bruxism? Dr. Ball can help by diagnosing and monitoring the problem, as well as recommending appropriate treatment options. She may suggest the use of a custom-made night guard to protect the teeth from the grinding forces during sleep. Dr. Ball can also provide guidance on behavior modification techniques and stress management strategies that can help alleviate bruxism symptoms.
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