How to Stop Children from Grinding Their Teeth

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

Grinding Teeth Is Common In Children

The disorder known as Bruxism, the condition of someone grinding their teeth instinctively, is somewhat common in children. In kids, this unconscious teeth gnashing often occurs when they are sleeping and can be hard to detect. This habit usually develops when a child's teeth do not grow normally and if left untreated can lead to damage to the tooth enamel.

There are many reasons for why a child begins to grind their teeth. In most cases, Bruxism will occur in kids under the age of 7-8. As the permanent teeth start to hit the roof of the mouth, most children will stop grinding their teeth on their own. However, if the teeth grinding is stress related or due to teeth growing in abnormally, it may be difficult for a child to stop the grinding.

If you notice your child grinding their teeth, try the following tips to help stop it.

  • Teeth grinding is often caused by stress and the best cure is to alleviate whatever is causing the stress. Talk to your child and find out what is causing them to feel uncomfortable, especially before they go to bed. If you can help your child relieve stressful conditions, you may be able to stop the grinding of their teeth.
  • In some cases, teeth grinding is linked to dehydration. During the day, make sure your child is drinking plenty of water.
  • If you notice your child grinding their teeth during the day, distract them by getting them engaged in another activity. The less your child grinds their teeth during the day the less chance it will occur at night.
  • As a last resort, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your pediatric dentist may recommend using a mouth guard at night so when the child bites down it is on the soft plastic of the dental device and not the enamel of another tooth.

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David Epstein
CT Pediatric Dentist
David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

23 Jan 2022 12:46 AM