Our children often times will do some crazy stuff. Many of these things we’re prepared for because it’s usually normal for children in general. However, when our children start doing something out of the norm, we may be at a loss at helping them or knowing what to do. When teeth grinding occurs with a child, there can be many reasons they’re doing it. It’s important to note that they’re most likely not doing it on purpose and are unaware that they are. Teeth grinding happens more during sleep than anything. However, teeth grinding can lead to sensitive teeth, a sore jaw, headaches, worn away teeth, etc. So, it’s vital that you take further steps to help your child if you have started noticing them grinding their teeth.
Reduce Their Stress
Teeth grinding is commonly connected to stress or anxiety both in adults and children. One of the best ways to help them reduce grinding at night is to eliminate some stressful aspects of their life. If they’re in a lot of demanding clubs, extracurricular activities, etc. try to reduce some of these and simplify their schedule. Sometimes making sure they have some downtime and have less pressure on them can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Check with Your Dentist
Sometimes, bite alignment can cause teeth grinding. It’s always safe to check with your dentist to ensure you know the root cause of your child’s teeth grinding. If they have an issue with their bite, your dentist will be able to give suggestions for fixing the underlying issue.
Get a Mouthguard
A mouthguard can be bought over the counter and is relatively inexpensive. There are mouthguards that can be boiled and then shaped to a child’s mouth. Other options are mouthguards that shape to the child’s mouth over time or a custom fit mouthguard from your dentist. A mouthguard from your dentist is the best option since they can ensure that it’s the best fit for your child and won’t cause any issues down the road. Mouthguards protect a child’s teeth as they sleep which reduces pain, damage to teeth, etc.
Odds are, if a child grinds or clenches their jaw in their sleep, they may do it throughout the day. Try to pay attention as much as possible and if you see them doing it, get them to stop doing it. If you can help train them to not do it during the day, this often times helps them in their sleep as well since it can be a subconscious action.
Even as adults, grinding our teeth can be a problem. It’s not cause for huge alarm when a child starts grinding their teeth. However, it’s important that the underlying cause is determined in order to correct the issue as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to visit your child’s dentist so they can evaluate their oral health and help determine the cause.