handle children who grind their teeth

How to Handle Children Who Grind Their Teeth

Have you ever caught your 4-year-old grinding their teeth? Perhaps your kid has been experiencing headaches, and you’re not sure if bruxism is to blame. You’ve come to the right place if you’re inquisitive about teeth clenching or grinding. With the help of orthodontics in Irvine, your kiddo may stop grinding your teeth 

What is Bruxism?

The term “bruxism” refers to teeth-clenching or grinding that occurs unconsciously. This could happen at any time of day or night, even while you’re sleeping. An estimated three out of ten kids brux before the age of five. It might be challenging to pinpoint the precise cause of bruxism in children because there are several potential contributing variables. 

Reasons for Teeth Grinding

Children may grind their teeth for a variety of causes, such as: 

  • Having misaligned teeth can cause pain from ear aches or teething as well as stress from things like test anxiety or schedule changes. 
  • Stress levels can be high enough to result in teeth grinding or jaw clenching, even when parents and siblings are bickering.
  • Medical conditions, such as hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, or certain medications

Signs of Teeth Grinding

  • Audible Grinding Sounds: Your child’s mouth may make a loud, repetitive grinding or clenching sound while they are sleeping or even when they are awake.
  • Jaw Pain: Children who grind their teeth may have jaw pain or discomfort, as well as facial pain or ear discomfort, especially in the morning.
  • Frequent Headaches: When you first wake up in the morning or later in the day, bruxism can occasionally cause tension-type headaches.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: Grinding can wear down the enamel on the teeth, exposing the sensitive layers underneath, making them more sensitive to hot, cold, and sweet meals and drinks.
  • Teeth chipping: Receiving pediatric dentistry in Irvine may help you discover that your child’s teeth are flattening, chipping, or becoming more sensitive. This wear pattern is frequently an obvious indicator of bruxism.
  • Cheek or Tongue Biting: Frequent teeth grinding can unintentionally result in sore places in the mouth from cheek or tongue biting.
  • Sleep Disruption: Bruxism can disturb your child’s sleep cycles, resulting in nighttime awakenings or restless sleep.
  • Alteration in Tooth Alignment: Prolonged bruxism can result in shifts in tooth alignment or even modifications to the bite.
  • Stress or worry: Stress and worry might make you more irritable or cause you to grind your teeth. It could be a contributing cause if your youngster is becoming more stressed out or agitated.
  • Muscle Tightness: Grinding can make the jaw muscles so sore and tense that it may be difficult to fully open or close the mouth.

You should consult an orthodontist near you, if you believe your child is grinding their teeth..

Tips for Preventing Children from Grinding Their Teeth

#1: Hand your youngster a teething toy (or make one yourself)

Consider providing your child with a baby teething toy to bite down on or a moist towel as a homemade teething toy if teething is the reason behind the behaviour. It may help to relieve some of the strain to bite down on something other than your teeth.

#2: Make sure your youngster is getting enough water to drink

Clenching and grinding are two things that can result from dehydration and/or caffeine use. Caffeine should be removed from your child’s diet if they consume it. Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 are recommended not to consume more than 100mg per day. 

#3: Encourage your kids to use effective stress-reduction strategies

Creating a relaxing bedtime routine is essential for kids who clench predominantly at night. To limit exposure to blue light, think about implementing a “no screens an hour before bedtime” rule. Blue light stimulates the brain while suppressing the generation of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. To help your child unwind, try reading to them before bed, practising yoga or deep breathing, or giving them a warm bath.

Still Have Questions? No Problem!

Do not hesitate to contact children’s dentistry in Irvine and make an appointment if you have any concerns regarding the dental, oral, or dental habits of your child.  Schedule your visit here at Irvine Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry today!