Is Your Child Grinding Their Teeth?
You may have noticed your child grinding their teeth. This can happen at any time, but it is most
common at night. Your child may not even realize they are doing it. Some common signs that
your child is grinding is if they have tooth sensitivity, have pain when chewing, have pain in
their jaw, or if you hear them grinding when they are sleeping. It’s important to have your child’s dentist exam their teeth when you notice your child has clenching or grinding habits.
Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?
There are many reasons why children may grind their teeth. Depending on the age of your child,
it could be due to:
- Pain Caused by Teething or Earache: As your baby’s teeth come in, they may experience some discomfort. This can lead to grinding as they try to soothe the pain. Teething can also cause earaches, which can further contribute to the problem.
- Misalignment of Teeth or jaw bones: If your child’s teeth are not properly aligned, they may grind them to try and correct the problem. This is especially common if their top and bottom teeth do not meet correctly.
- Dehydration: If your child does not drink enough water, they may be more likely to grind their teeth. This is because dehydration can cause the mouth to feel dry and irritated.
- Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions can lead to teeth grinding. For instance, cerebral palsy has been linked to teeth grinding. This is due to the involuntary muscle movements associated with the condition.
What You Can Do When Your Child Grinds Their Teeth
There are many things you can do to help your child when they grind their teeth. These include:
- Give your Child a Teething Toy: If biting down on something hard helps to relieve the pain of teething, a teething toy for very young children can do wonders. The pressure on the gums can help to reduce the urge to grind. For instance, a frozen wet washcloth can be soothing. Make sure the toy is big enough so your child won’t choke on it.
- Encourage your Child to Drink More Water: Make sure your child is getting enough water throughout the day. This will help keep their mouth hydrated and reduce the urge to grind. This is also a great way to keep your child healthy overall.
- Encourage Your Child to Relax Before Bedtime: A warm bath or a bedtime story can help your child to relax before sleep. This may reduce the amount of grinding that occurs during the night. A calming nighttime routine can also help your child to get a good night’s sleep overall.
- Most Importantly, Take Your Child to the Dentist: If you are concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, arrange a visit with the dentist. They can properly assess the situation. This is especially important if the grinding is causing damage to the teeth.
Teeth grinding is a common problem in children. There are many things you can do to help your child when they grind their teeth. Taking the necessary steps to protect your child’s teeth from further damage is essential.
Contact Us Today
If your child is experiencing teeth grinding or clenching, contact Sprout Kids Dentistry today for treatment. Dr. Anderson will be happy to inspect your child’s mouth an jaw and create a personalized treatment plan to help ease teeth grinding.
Dr. Michelle Anderson is a pediatric dentist board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.