Child teeth grinding is a common concern we hear from parents. This is also known as bruxism. Grinding can happen while awake or asleep, and parents know when it happens because it sounds like nails on a chalkboard!
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Teeth Grinding happens for many reasons including stress and anxiety. Other sources of grinding include sleep apnea and other breathing disorders. There may be a developmental component as well as the jaws grow and teeth shift around.
What your can do about your child’s grinding?
If there are underlying causes, like stress or anxiety we suggest addressing those first. Speak with your doctor, there will be multiple ways to build stress-relieving practices into your child’s bedtime routine.
Teeth grinding combined with other things
If your child is grinding their teeth, in addition to frequent or unusual bedwetting and snoring your child may have sleep apnea. Speak with your doctor to evaluate your child for sleep apnea.
Can be self correcting
A grinding habit tends to be self-limiting to your child’s youth and usually corrects itself as your child approaches adolescence.
If the grinding persists, we can prevent grinding with a night guard, a hard plastic or acrylic mouthpiece that will prevent the contact of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws.
Don’t use night guards on young children
Unfortunately, night guards can stunt the growth and development of the jaws. But if grinding persists through adolescence, then it would be appropriate to make a night guard for your teenager.
Braces and night guards
If braces are planned for your child, a night guard would be made after orthodontic treatment was completed.
Night guard protects tooth enamel
A nightguard can protect teeth from wearing away enamel and even prevent fractures to your fillings and your teeth. We recommend any adult with grinding to get a night guard!
If you have any questions about your child’s grinding you can contact our pediatric dental office at 303-455-3313 .