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11Feb2015

Is Your Child Grinding His Or Her Teeth During The Night?

HAVE YOU EVER CHECKED on your sleeping child at night and discovered that he or she is tooth grinding? Just the sound of it probably made your own jaw ache!

Teeth Grinding Is Common Among Children

As many as 30% of children grind their teeth, both during the day and at night. You may notice it especially between ages 3 and 6—but many teens also grind their teeth. In adults, bruxism is usually related to stress and malocclusion (a misaligned bite). In children, it’s also linked to changes in the way that teeth fit together. Often, it’s just a way for them to get used to new teeth coming in.

Chronic Bruxism Into Adulthood Can Be A Problem

Many parents wonder at which point they should be concerned for their children. Most kids grow out of clenching and grinding their teeth within a few months. However, chronic bruxism throughout adolescence and adulthood can have some problematic side effects, including:

  • headaches and jaw pain
  • tooth fractures
  • tooth loss
  • damaged fillings and crowns

Talk To Us About It

If your child is grinding his or her teeth, our first item of advice is this: don’t worry about it too much! However, let us know about it so that we can keep an eye out for signs of damage.

We Can Help You Find Solutions If It Becomes A Problem

If bruxing is causing damage to your child’s teeth, or contributing to headaches and jaw pain, we can find a solution to help them relax their teeth and jaw. This might include fitting a night guard that can protect teeth, or it could be as simple as finding a soothing bedtime routine that will relax your child before sleep. Talk to us at your child’s next appointment.

Thanks for being a valued part of our practice family!

Top image by Flickr user Stefano Montagner used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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