How Can I Prevent My Child From Grinding Their Teeth?

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Teeth grinding (bruxism) in children is relatively common, and many outgrow the habit by age six. In young children, teeth grinding can be caused by misaligned teeth or new teeth coming in, causing pain. If your child is exhibiting signs of teeth grinding, especially if they are over five years of age, the team at Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics in Wyomissing, PA can help.

Keep reading to discover why children grind their teeth, when it's a problem, and how you can use mouth guards and other means to help prevent it.

What causes children to grind their teeth?

Children's teeth are in a state of growth. This can cause pain, annoyance, or general discomfort they may try to relieve by grinding. Often, grinding teeth can alleviate some tooth pain. But it can also harm growing teeth.

Teeth grinding in children can also result from medications, including antidepressants or antipsychotics. It's crucial to take stock of your children's medications and see if bruxism is a side effect.

Finally, your child may grind teeth due to stress, anxiety, or hyperactivity. Pent-up energy can sometimes cause children to grind or clench their teeth for relief.

Does teeth grinding in children cause dental problems?

In young children (under five), teeth grinding may end up causing few to no problems since they are grinding their baby teeth, which are destined to fall out anyway. However, bruxism could be a sign that your child is experiencing anxiety or other issues that need to be addressed by a dentist or doctor.

In terms of dental health, children six and older should be seen by a dentist if they continue to grind their teeth. Continuous teeth grinding can cause tooth enamel to crack, causing cavities and tooth infections. It can also lead to misaligned teeth, which could require orthodontic devices like braces.

Teeth grinding can also lead to pain in the jaw or face. Regardless of their age, if your child's teeth grinding is causing them pain, contact the team at Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics in Wyomissing, PA for an appointment.

How can I get my child to stop grinding their teeth?

The most common way to get a child to stop grinding their teeth in a way that causes pain or tooth damage is the use of a mouth guard or nightguard. At Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics, we create custom mouth guards for children for optimal comfort.

However, you may also consider some home remedies to address your child's bruxism. If they appear to be grinding their teeth as a result of too much energy, cutting down on caffeine (such as soft drinks and chocolate) may be helpful. If anxiety is the culprit, you may try to relieve tension using relaxation exercises such as mindfulness or deep breathing. Hyperactive children may need more exercise and activity than others to stop teeth grinding.

Get treatment for teeth grinding in Wyomissing, PA

When parents see or hear their children grinding their teeth, it's natural to worry. Identifying the cause is crucial to addressing it properly. However, if behavioral interventions aren't effective (or take longer), a custom mouth guard can be a temporary or long-term solution to tooth and jaw pain.

To learn more about getting your child a mouth guard or getting to the bottom of bruxism, schedule an appointment with Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics in Wyomissing, PA today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.