If you’ve been noticing your child grinding your teeth–either while sleeping or awake–then it’s natural to become concerned. While some situations do require the attention of a pediatric dentist, in most cases, toddlers will simply grow out of it. 

Today we’re going to explain what causes toddlers to grind their teeth (bruxism), what effects it has on their development, and the treatment available to them.

What Causes Toddlers to Grind Their Teeth?

There isn’t a definitive cause for bruxism in toddlers; however, dentists have come to know that it can generally be traced back to

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Teething or an earache
  • A pre-existing medical condition, like cerebral palsy. 

While this phenomenon may seem new to you, rest assured that it’s very common for toddlers to grind their teeth. In fact, 3 out of 10 toddlers grind their teeth.

The Effects of Bruxism

Teeth grinding generally only causes acute jaw pain. Most dentists and doctors do not consider bruxism to be a harmful habit, because the majority of toddlers grow out of it. 

When You Should Take Your Child To the Dentist

If you see your little one grinding their teeth most days of the week, then ask them if they are in any kind of pain. If they are in pain, then it’s a good idea to make an appointment with the dentist. A professional pediatric dentist will then check for chipped enamel and/or misalignment.   

Treatment for Bruxism

If it is determined that misalignment is the cause of your child’s teeth grinding, then their dentist will usually treat it with a night guard. Night guards are thin pieces of plastic that slip over the upper gums to protect the teeth from damage.

If anxiety or stress is the cause, then you can try spending time reading or playing soothing music for your child before they go to bed. 

Need More Professional Advice? Schedule an Appointment With CT Pediatric Dentistry Today 

We have been improving children’s oral health for decades. If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding habit, then feel free to give us a call. We’re conveniently located in West Hartford, Unionville, and North Windham Connecticut. 

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