Teeth grinding, a condition called bruxism, is quite common in children, but most will eventually outgrow their teeth grinding and clenching habit. Visit our kids dental practice if you have concerns about your child teeth grinding. Our dentists can assess the movement of jaws and bite. If needed we can offer a custom-made night splint or nightguard to prevent damage to the teeth and jaws
It may not be exactly clear what is causing your child’s bruxism, although if they have misaligned teeth, where their teeth do not bite together correctly, this could be one cause.
Other times, children will grind their teeth to relieve stress or anxiety, or if they are in pain. Sometimes teeth grinding and clenching is due to hyperactivity or because of cerebral palsy. It can be a side-effect of some common medications.
Occasional teeth grinding and clenching may not be a problem, but it can become an issue if it begins to damage your child’s tooth enamel.
Also, the force of bruxism can cause jaw problems, affecting the jaw joints which are called temporomandibular joints and jaw muscles.
Prolonged bruxism can also cause facial pain, headaches, and earache, in addition to chipping or fracturing teeth and causing excessive wear to their tooth enamel.
If you suspect your child has bruxism, it’s essential to visit our pediatric dentistry to get a diagnosis, even if they still have their baby teeth. However, discovering if your kid does grind their teeth can be tricky.
Dr. Khabensky DDS and Dr. Kim DDS can gently assess your child’s teeth and jaws for signs of bruxism and can check the movement of their jaws and their bite.
If needed, we will take dental x-rays to assess any damage or inflammation in their jaw joints. One effective treatment for teeth grinding is a custom-made night splint or nightguard.
A nightguard is made from strong plastic and is usually made to fit over the upper teeth so that the lower teeth slide against the night guard when your child tries to grind their teeth, preventing more damage to the teeth and jaws.
Teeth grinding is a habit, so wearing a nightguard for just a short while may be enough to break this habit.
It’s also worth considering if your child feels stressed or angry about anything, and if these emotions are triggering their teeth grinding during sleep. Kids often experience anxiety, and it may be necessary to address the cause of this anxiety to help break a tooth grinding habit.
Sometimes stress-relieving strategies that can help include playing them soothing music before bedtime or giving them a warm bath to help them relax. Stress-related bruxism can often be is often preventable with the right care.
Pediatric Dentistry Center
2148 Ocean Ave, Ste 401A
Brooklyn, NY 11229