Top Ways to Stop Teeth Grinding

“How do I stop my child from grinding their teeth?” As your trusted dental home, we are here to educate you about teeth grinding. We empathize with your concern regarding sleeptime grinding in your child. The medical term for teeth grinding or clenching is Bruxism. According to WebMD, approximately 15-33 percent of children grind their teeth, (1) so do not worry, you are not alone! Although the exact reason for Bruxism is unknown, there are some common causes of teeth grinding. Because of the association between tooth grinding and stress, we have developed some fun ideas for reducing your child’s anxiety levels.

All about Bruxism

Teeth grinding is most common when baby teeth come in as well as when permanent teeth fully erupt. Most children outgrow this stage of Bruxism. Another common reason for teeth grinding is orthodontic issues such as misaligned teeth. Bruxism is common in children with medical conditions like pinworms, allergies and nutritional deficiencies. If your child is experiencing a high level of pain, such as teething or earaches, their response is likely to clench or grind teeth. Anxiety and stress, especially close to bedtime, can cause nighttime grinding. Fortunately, Bruxism in baby teeth rarely leads to problems.

Creative ways to reduce nighttime grinding

Anxiety and stress lead to excessive nighttime grinding. Children tend to worry most when they are lying down to go to sleep at night. Little minds begin to worry about a big test coming up, a recent argument with a friend, or fear they won’t fit in or make the team to play their favorite sport. Although night guards are a great way to prevent nighttime grinding in adults, children’s dentition is still developing, and this appliance could prevent proper movement and development of the teeth. Here are some helpful tips to try with your little one to reduce your child’s stress level and quiet their mind.

  •         Have a specific routine each day, including waking up in the morning, meal times and bedtimes. Structure creates feelings of security for children.
  •         Cultivate healthy eating habits and plenty of water into your child’s diet.
  •         Play peaceful or relaxing music before bedtime.
  •         Try breathing techniques; just one minute of proper breathing can reduce anxiety.
  •         Have your child read a book, or read them their favorite bedtime story.
  •         Recite aloud or journal gratitude–this will redirect your child to more positive thinking
  •       Routinely encourage your child and uplift them before bedtime. Your words are the most valuable. Intentional, kind words each evening can help your kiddo rest easy at night.

When to seek help from your provider

         Always inform your dental care provider of Bruxism, especially if your child is grinding excessively. Your dentist will evaluate the teeth for wear. If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms associated with tooth grinding, contact your dentist.

  1.       Jaw pain or soreness
  2.       Headaches
  3.       Tooth sensitivity or pain not linked to other dental issues
  4.       Noticeable wear on teeth
  5.       Loud continued grinding (persistent and not resolved by other techniques)

Dentists are more likely to prescribe custom mouth guards to manage severe cases of Bruxism for teenagers with fully developed teeth.

Contact our office today!

If you are concerned about Bruxism, contact our office and speak to one of our administration team members about your dental health concerns. Our team works diligently to partner with your family to achieve more excellent overall health and wellness. We feel grateful to provide comprehensive pediatric dental care for your family’s unique needs.

Healthy Smile, Healthy Child

Of course, a beautiful smile begins with a healthy smile. Our team will help your child achieve good oral hygiene through regular cleanings and one on one education. Your little one will receive an oral hygiene score and coaching each time they visit us for a cleaning, cultivating a sense of responsibility and accomplishment while also building their confidence each time they improve their score. Don’t forget, a clean mouth promotes total body health and wellness too! This is why our doctors will screen for airway issues, talk about nutrition, eating habits, and much more. We want our patients to be empowered in the knowledge we provide to them on the health of their facial complex and how it relates to their overall systemic health. We are excited to partner with you throughout your child’s pediatric dental journey into orthodontics, and beyond!

- Top Ways to Stop Teeth Grinding

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