Stopping a Child from Grinding Their Teeth at Night is a severe problem that can have long-term consequences for the child's health. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to tooth decay (adult or baby teeth), gum disease, headaches, and migraines. In severe cases, teeth grinding can even cause permanent damage to the teeth and jaw, resulting in jaw pain.
Teeth grinding, also called Bruxism, is the involuntary clenching and gnashing of teeth. Teeth grinding occurs during sleep but can also occur while awake. People who grind their teeth often do so without being aware of it.
How To Stop A Child From Grinding Their Teeth At Night?
If you think your child may be grinding their upper and lower teeth, it's essential to take them to the dentist so they can rule out any underlying dental problems. The dentist will also be able to give you tips on your child's dental health and how to stop your child from grinding their teeth.
You can do a few things at home to help stop your child from grinding their teeth:
Make Sure They're Getting Enough Sleep
Grinding often occurs during sleep, so making sure your child is well-rested can help reduce the frequency of grinding. Try to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. This will help cue their body that it's time to wind down for the night.
Keep Their Stress Levels Down
Stress can be a significant trigger for teeth grinding. If your child feels overwhelmed, help them find healthy ways to cope with their stress, such as exercise or journaling. You should also avoid any stressful situations before bedtime so they can relax and fall asleep more easily.
Massage Their Gums
Gently massaging your child's gums with your fingers can help relax the muscles and reduce grinding. You can also have them bite on a soft cloth to help keep their teeth in place.
Give Them A Mouthguard
If your child continues to grind their teeth despite your best efforts, the dentist may recommend using a mouthguard. A mouthguard will protect their teeth from further damage and help reduce grinding noise.
It's essential to ensure the mouthguard is appropriately fitted to be effective. Here are a few tips on how to put a mouthguard in your child's mouth:
- Have your child sit down and open their mouth wide.
- Place the mouthguard in their mouth, making sure it covers all of their teeth.
- Press down on the mouthguard with their tongue and close their lips around it.
- Breathe through their nose to suction the mouthguard in place.
Talk To Their Dentist
If you're still concerned about your child grinding their teeth, make an appointment to talk to their dentist. They can give you more specific tips on stopping the teeth grinding habit and help protect your child's teeth from further damage.
Try A Nightguard
If your child continues to grind their teeth at night, the dentist may recommend using a nightguard. A night guard is a custom-made mouthpiece that fits over your child's teeth and prevents them from grinding. The dentist will take an impression of your child's teeth to create the nightguard. Once it's ready, they'll show you how to put it in your child's mouth and care for it.
Reasons For Children's Teeth Grinding
There are many reasons why children grind their teeth.
- Stress: One of the most common reasons for a child's teeth grinding is stress. When children are anxious, nervous, or under emotional duress, they may grind their teeth to release tension. Stressful life events such as divorce, moving, starting school, or the death of a loved one can trigger teeth grinding.
- Misaligned teeth: If the teeth are not aligned correctly, it can put undue pressure on the jaw muscles and grind teeth.
- Sleep disorders: Children with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or Bruxism (teeth grinding) are more likely to grind their teeth.
- Medications: Some medications can cause teeth grinding, including stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin.
- Genetics: Teeth grinding can be hereditary. If you or your partner grinds their teeth, there's a good chance your child will too.
Myths And Facts About Bruxism
Let's take a look at some of the most common myths and facts about Bruxism so that you can be informed about this condition.
- Myth: Bruxism is caused by stress.
- Fact: While stress may be a trigger for Bruxism, it is not the underlying cause.
- Myth: Only adults can suffer from Bruxism.
- Fact: Children can also suffer from Bruxism, although it is more common in adults.
- Myth: Bruxism is a rare condition.
- Fact: Bruxism affects approximately 30% of the population.
- Myth: Bruxism is not a severe condition.
- Fact: Bruxism can lead to serious oral health problems if left untreated.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bruxism?
The most common symptom of Bruxism is waking up with a headache or sore jaw. You may also notice that your teeth are sensitive to cold or hot drinks. If you grind your teeth at night, you may see that your partner hears the grinding noise. In severe cases, Bruxism can lead to TMJ disorders and tooth loss.
How To Diagnose Bruxism?
The dentist can usually diagnose Bruxism by physically examining your child's mouth and teeth. The dentist may also ask about your child's medical history and how the problem has affected your child's life.
To rule out other causes of tooth wear, the dentist may take X-rays of your child's teeth. The dentist may also refer you and your child to a pediatrician or psychologist to look for any underlying medical or psychological causes.
Causes Of Tooth Decay Due To Bruxism
Bruxism can cause tooth decay because it wears away the enamel on the teeth. Enamel is a complex, protective coating that helps keep your child's teeth healthy and strong. Once the enamel is gone, the underlying dentin is exposed, making the teeth more susceptible to decay. In addition, Bruxism can cause gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss.
People Also Ask:
Why do kids grind their teeth at night?
One of the reasons may be stress and anxiety. Like adults, children can clench their jaws and grind their teeth when stressed and anxious. Another reason could be malocclusions – If your child has an uneven bite, their teeth may not fit together correctly, which can lead to tooth grinding.
Is it normal for my child to grind his teeth?
It can be disconcerting when your child clamps their teeth together and grinds them. While the sound of a baby grinding their teeth can make you cringe, it's pretty standard and usually entirely normal for babies to grind their teeth.
Can Bruxism be cured?
Even though bruxing is a parafunction that one does not have complete control over, there are multiple treatments available to cure teeth grinding without resorting to cosmetic procedures, depending on the intensity and severity of the condition.
How long does it take to cure Bruxism?
It might take anywhere from 13-19 weeks until you get a positive response to reducing Bruxism.
If your child is grinding their teeth, it's essential to take action to protect their oral health. Talk to their dentist about how to stop the habit and make sure they're using a mouthguard or nightguard if necessary. Be sure to brush up on the facts about Bruxism so that you can be informed about this condition.