People of all ages may grind their teeth, but this condition known as bruxism is very common among young kids. In fact, according to The National Sleep Foundation, 14-20% of children under the age of 11 grind their teeth at night.
Teeth grinding in toddlers often occurs at night while they are sleeping. You’ve likely heard the grinding happen – whether you are right next to your child or in another room. And while it may not be doing any serious damage now, it could impact your child’s oral health in the future. It is best to take steps to learn about bruxism so you can find solutions to help your toddler stop teeth grinding.
What Is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth Grinding, or bruxism, is a condition in which teeth are grinded or clenched, usually always unconsciously. It can happen while awake as well as when sleeping. The latter seems to be the most common.
Many children grind their teeth, but it often goes away as they grow. Others will continue to grind well into adolescence or older. And although there are worse things you could have to worry about when it comes to your toddler, nipping it in the bud now can lead to better oral health in the future.
Excessive teeth grinding can wear down the teeth over time. And excessive clenching at night can put undue stress and pressure on the tissue and muscles surrounding the jawbone. If you are unsure whether your child grinds his or her teeth, listen at night. You may be surprised at how loud this grinding actually is. Otherwise, with a thorough examination, your dentist is usually able to tell if bruxism is an issue.
Tips to Stop Teeth Grinding
It is important to take steps to curb teeth grinding if you are aware that it is happening. We have put together a few tips to help get you started.
Reduce stress. Believe it or not, stress is one of the biggest contributors to teeth grinding. You may not think that toddlers have that much stress, but even the slightest change in schedule can impact young ones. Keep bedtime as routine and stress-free as possible.
Give massages. Relaxing your toddler can help reduce teeth grinding. Consider light massages and rubdowns at bedtime. Let your son or daughter fall asleep while feeling the soothing, calming touch of your hands.
A warm bath. Consider saving bath time until just before bed. Make it warm and soothing, even using a calming lavender bubble bath.
Avoid caffeine. It is not at all common to give toddlers caffeinated beverages to drink. But just in case you are, remove the caffeine and give your young one more water.
Talk to your dentist. Your dentist will guide you on the best ways to help stop teeth grinding. For older kids, bite alignments and mouthguards are common options but are not suitable for toddlers. Either way, your dentist is the professional that can do a thorough examination and advise of the best steps to take.
Let’s Talk Teeth Grinding at Tender Smiles 4 Kids
If you have heard your toddler grinding his or her teeth from another room, you are bound to be concerned. At Tender Smiles 4 Kids, we want you to understand that this is totally normal, but it needs to be addressed. We can help.
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