IS YOUR CHILD GRINDING his or her teeth at night? Is it starting to worry you? You’re not alone—lots of parents ask our team about this. In fact, about 38% of children grind their teeth at night! The technical term for it is bruxism. No one’s completely sure of the cause for bruxism, although it’s been linked to anxiety, pain, and a misaligned bite. With toddlers, it can simply be a way to get used to new teeth as they grow in. Most children grow out of it, but for about 8% of adults, night bruxism can cause some big problems.
Don’t Stress About It—But DO Tell Us About It
Our advice to parents is not to worry about it too much! As we mentioned, most children grow out of it by age 6 or so. But all the same, we want you to talk to us about it. In some cases, bruxism can cause tiny fractures in teeth, increased sensitivity, and loose dental fillings. We’ll want to keep an eye on your child’s teeth to make sure that grinding isn’t causing any damage.
How To Prevent Sleep Bruxism
Here are some things you might want to give a try in order to alleviate your child’s night bruxism:
- Cut back on caffeine and sugar, especially before bed.
- Talk with your child about things that could be causing stress and anxiety.
- Consider turning off the TV and other electronics at least one hour before bed.
- Consider a soothing bath before bed.
- Usually, a night guard is unnecessary for children. But in older children, night grinding might damage permanent teeth, so we may recommend something to prevent harmful wear.
We’d Love To Hear Your Ideas And Opinions
Do you have any methods of your own for reducing tooth grinding in your children? Comment below, or on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you! If you have any questions about the effects of bruxism on your kid’s health, call us.