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3 FAQ About Teeth Grinding In Children

Does your child grind their teeth? If they do, they most likely do it at night while they are sleeping and are completely unaware they are doing it. When children do grind their teeth, it can be quite loud. Some parents say it sounds like their child is chewing on rocks. If your child does grind their teeth, you may want to mention it to their dentist. Teeth grinding in children is a pediatric dental issue that can be hard on the teeth.

To help you learn more, here are the answers to three frequently asked questions about teeth grinding in children.

1. Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

According to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, teeth grinding is something 3 out of 10 kids do. Most kids will outgrow teeth grinding, however, by the time they turn 6 years old. For those that don't, you will want to figure out why your child is grinding their teeth. 

Some children grind their teeth when their permanent teeth are trying to come through the gum line. Children with an abnormal bite are also prone to grinding their teeth. This habit is also common for kids with certain disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, autism, and ADHD. Still, some children grind their teeth because they are feeling angry, anxious, or stressed.

2. What Are Some Signs A Child Grinds Their Teeth?

Besides making noise, another sign your child grinds their teeth is if they complain of headaches, earaches, or jaw pain. If your child is unusually tired during the day it could be because their teeth grinding is disrupting their sleep at night.

If a pediatric dentist examines your child's teeth and they are flattened, or the tooth enamel is worn down, it might indicate your child grinds their teeth. If your child continues to do so, they could end up damaging their teeth. They will also be at a higher risk of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

3. How Is Teeth Grinding Treated?

If your child is grinding their teeth because they are angry or stressed, try to figure the cause of these emotions. If it is just a bad habit, or you're not sure why they are grinding their teeth, one pediatric dental treatment option is a mouthguard. These are custom-made by a pediatric dentist and are worn at night to prevent people from teeth grinding in their sleep. Children who can't wear a mouthguard at night can try an oral motor chew toy. This device provides oral stimulation which can help decrease teeth grinding.

Contact a pediatric dentistry for more information.