Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, is a common dental issue many people face. However, it’s more prevalent among children because their teeth aren’t fully developed yet. It’s estimated that over 20 million kids experience bruxism daily. It’s a serious matter, which is why it’s critical to determine the best way to address it before it worsens.
This article will discuss everything there is to know about teeth grinding in children and what parents can do about it. Read on below to get started.
What Causes Teeth Grinding in Children?
Grinding your teeth is a nervous habit that many of us have. It’s something most people do when they’re anxious, stressed, or bored. Young children, in particular, may do this when their parents are sleeping because they’re nervous about being left by themselves.
In some cases, teeth grinding can be caused by a person’s bite size. The top teeth can collide with the bottom jaw while chewing if the lower jaw is smaller. This can lead to discomfort and pain, so it’s likely to cause your child to grind their teeth.
Underlying sleep disorders may also cause teeth grinding. Your child may grind their teeth because of an underlying sleep disorder. If your child grinds their teeth, consider evaluating them for sleep apnea. This can cause many other issues, ranging from poor mood to daytime sleepiness.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
If you think your child grinds their teeth, keep an eye out for the following:
- Tooth damage
- Jaw pain
- Facial or mouth pain
- Heightened teeth sensitivity
- Mouth noises while asleep
Treating Bruxism in Children
One of the reasons teeth grinding causes so much concern is because it does cause damage. If your child’s teeth are grinding, they’re likely experiencing pain. This can lead to additional problems, such as grinding their teeth more frequently and further tooth damage.
At some point, your child’s teeth may get worn down. If this happens, it will be much more difficult for a dentist to fix the issue if it’s not treated early. This can lead to your child needing a bit of jaw surgery or wearing uncomfortable braces. Neither of these options is ideal.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to prevent teeth grinding, including:
A nightguard is an excellent option because it can protect their teeth and prevent them from grinding in the first place. If a dentist isn’t available or if you think your child may benefit from nightguards, contact your dentist. They can help you determine whether or not nightguards are the right choice for your child.
It’s worth noting that nightguards aren’t cheap. Also, they may not be a great idea for younger children because they can be difficult to wear.
A lot of people frown when they hear about facial exercises. However, these exercises can strengthen your child’s jaw muscles, which may prevent them from grinding their teeth. This can also help people who already grind their teeth because it will make it easier to clench their jaws.
To perform facial exercises, you’ll want to start by forming your mouth into a smile. You will then want to tuck your lip into your mouth. After that, you will want to pull back your lips while pulling back your ears. Tuck your chin in while doing so, then repeat.
Teeth grinding is often caused by stress, so it’s essential to do everything you can to manage your child’s stress. If your child grinds their teeth when they sleep, refrain from waking them when they do. If they’re anxious, they’re likely grinding their teeth to feel better.
There’s a chance that your child isn’t sleeping well, causing them to grind their teeth. This can be easily fixed with a sleep evaluation. If your child is diagnosed with sleep apnea, they may need to wear a CPAP device to help them manage their sleep issues.
If your child has existing oral health issues, they may not be able to grind their teeth without experiencing pain. To help relieve the pain, they may want to take Orajel or another over-the-counter medication. Just be sure to talk with a doctor first before giving your child medication.
Teeth grinding is a common issue, but it doesn’t have to be a huge problem. If you notice your child is grinding their teeth, you must seek the help of a dentist. Children are guaranteed to grind their teeth at some point, but not getting it checked will only worsen things in the long run.
If you’re looking for a children’s dentist in Brisbane, Enamel Dental Studio has got your back! Our team of experienced dentists can give your child quality oral care so that their teeth will develop in the best possible way. Contact us today for a consultation!