You might not expect it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Not many parents will really expect their children to grind their teeth in their sleep – but the fact is that they do, and quite unconsciously so.
Teeth grinding in children, also known as Bruxism, is a frequent problem – it’s not just adults that suffer from this problem. But the good news is that children usually grow out of it. But until they do, you need to know all that you can about bruxism in kids – if only to help your child get over this problem sooner.
And that’s where we come in – with all the info on bruxism in kids, its causes and treatment options…and most importantly, what you can do to help your child while he still suffers from teeth grinding.
So first things first, how do you know for sure that your child is suffering from bruxism? How do you know that it’s not just your child grinding his teeth out of anger or frustration (yes, they have their fair share of frustrations too)…?
Watch out for the symptoms!
- Incessant grinding noises coming from your kid when he’s sleeping
- He complains of sore jaw while brushing in the mornings
- Pain while chewing food
Now once you’re quite convinced that your child isn’t really grinding his teeth out of frustration or anger – it’s time to look into what’s causing him to grind his teeth…
Let’s take a look at the causes of teeth grinding—
While no dentist or doctor has yet been able to say for sure what causes bruxism, they have been able to find some probable causes for bruxism:
- Misalignment of the teeth – the lower and upper jaw do not align well with each other.
- Response to pain of teething – the constant soft gnashing and grinding can help to lessen the discomfort.
- Stress – either in their own lives or in that of those around him – can come forth as teeth grinding at night.
Now once you suspect that it is bruxism, it’s time to get it confirmed from the doctor…that means diagnosis from the dentist…
These are the questions that your dentist is likely to ask your child—
- How does he feel before going to bed?
- Is something stressing or worrying him – about home or school?
- Is he angry with someone and unable to do anything about it?
- His routine before going to bed.
The dentist figures out if the cause for teeth grinding in your child is because of anatomical issues – like misalignment of teeth… or if it results from a psychological or emotional problem.
Now once the dentist figures this out it’s getting down to treatments – because unless you address the scenario now, teeth grinding can lead to—
- Regular headaches/ear aches
- Wearing down of the teeth enamel
- TMJ — temporomandibular joint disease
- Misalignment of facial features
Naturally, you do not want something like this to happen to your child in the future…so until your child outgrows the tendency to grind his teeth in his sleep, here’s what you can do to…
Help your child—
- If you find that the grinding results from emotional stress, then help your child to de-stress, especially before bed.
- You might get him braces if his jaws are misaligned.
- Pay attention to your child so that he doesn’t feel lonely or emotionally detached from you – that can result in repressed feelings and bruxism.
After all, you want the best for your child, and if there’s anything you can do to stop your child’s bruxism, then you will surely do it. And we do hope that our low down on teeth grinding in children will help you out in this respect.