Why your child is grinding their teeth, and how to help.
Have you walked by your child’s bedroom at night and heard a gritting sound? Does your child have frequent headaches and a sore jaw? Have you noticed your child’s teeth developing abnormal wear and tear? Then your child is likely grinding their teeth at night.
It is highly common for children under and around age eleven to grind their teeth at night. Some children even start as early as one year old, when their first teeth emerge! There are various reasons that children grind their teeth, but there are also many ways to help. Here are the facts on teeth grinding from your favorite children’s dentist in Yardley!
Why the Nightly Grind?
In some cases, grinding can be caused by stress or anxiety in children. It can be caused by a particular stressor, or from general feelings of instability or fear. In addition, exhaustion due to a lack of consistent sleep can also lead to grinding. However, in most cases teeth grinding is due to an abnormal bite or crooked teeth that cause disruption in your child’s mouth. A loose or missing tooth can also be the culprit.
If your child grinds their teeth only occasionally, there likely won’t be any lasting harm. However, if they are grinding their teeth on a regular basis, it can lead to worn down enamel, tooth decay, and loss of teeth.
To reduce the frequency of your child’s tooth grinding problems, try these tricks from your children’s dentist in Yardley, Sea of Smiles Yardley PA.
Stop Grinding those Pearly Whites!
- If your child is grinding their teeth due to stress or anxiety, take time every evening to get them calm and relaxed before bed. Teach them jaw relaxing stretches, place a warm towel around their jawline, or even start an evening family yoga routine! In addition, talk to your child about what may be causing them stress. They may need professional help if their anxiety is causing disruptive sleep.
- Have your child cut back on sugar and caffeine, including anything containing chocolate. Both can increase tension during bedtime hours, and may lead to more frequent tooth grinding.
- Encourage your child to relax their jaw throughout the day, and to avoid nervously biting pencils or their nails. Practicing throughout the day will make it more natural to relax at night, even in their subconscious.
If your child is still struggling with grinding their teeth, especially if they are under age eleven, contact your children’s dentist in Yardley. They can provide options for helping your child stop grinding their teeth, and restore teeth that may have already been affected.
For more information, contact Sea of Smiles today!