Teeth grinding is a dangerous habit that can wear down teeth, cause gum inflammation, and
can even cause tooth fractures. Bruxism—the technical term for teeth grinding—is damaging
for people of any age. Kids are particularly susceptible to damage from teeth grinding because
their permanent teeth are still forming.
If your child is grinding his or her teeth, what can you do? When you suspect your child may
have bruxism, it’s time to seek help from your dentist to prevent and treat this disorder. The
following are our top tips to stop bruxism for good in your child!
Stress is one of the top causes of teeth grinding. If your child is experiencing stress at home or
at school, he or she may be grinding their teeth as a result.
Helping to manage your child’s stress can help you prevent bruxism. If your child is
overscheduled or is facing stress due to tension at school or home, it’s important to address
this issue in addition to seeking help for your child’s teeth grinding.
Prevent Anxiety and Hyperactivity
Hyperactive children are more likely to grind their teeth. If your child is hyperactive or has been
diagnosed with attention deficient disorder or attention deficient hyperactive disorder, teeth
grinding may be more likely.
Children who suffer from anxiety may also be more prone to teeth grinding. Helping to prevent
and manage anxiety and hyperactivity may help stop your child’s teeth grinding!
An Improper Bite
Children who have a misaligned bite may be more prone to grinding their teeth. For some
children, a misaligned bite can be painful, and teeth grinding can happen in response to pain.
Getting your child evaluated for braces by an orthodontist no later than the age of seven can
help you know if your child is suffering from an improper bite and what can be done about it.
Treat the Underlying Problem
Treating the underlying cause of your child’s bruxism is essential. Without knowing what’s
causing the problem, it can be difficult to implement a long-term solution. Your child’s dentist
or pediatrician can help you uncover the root cause of your child’s teeth grinding.
Whether it’s stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, or an improper bite, you can figure out what’s going
on with your child. You may need to address the issue from a holistic standpoint with your
child’s pediatrician and his or her dentist if not a psychiatrist.
Consider a Nightly Mouthguard
After working to determine what’s causing your child’s bruxism, you may need to consider a
nightly mouthguard while working to address the root cause.
Bruxism can quickly work to damage teeth and irritate gums, so protecting the teeth is crucial,
even if your child is receiving treatment for the cause of their bruxism.
Your dentist can create a custom mouthguard for your child so that his or her teeth will be
protected while you’re seeking treatment.
Are you worried that your child is grinding his or her teeth? Don’t ignore bruxism—it’s
incredibly harmful and may permanently damage your child’s smile. There is help and hope for
bruxism, so schedule an appointment with your dentist today to discuss treatment options!