Is your kid grinding her teeth? What you need to know 

Posted on September 4, 2020 | Hot Topics

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If you want to get technical, bruxism is the medical term used for the grinding of teeth. This is very common in children-3 out of every 10 will grind or clench, experts say. Most kids and adults aren’t aware of when they’re grinding their teeth. For kids, there are several reasons why they exhibit this unconscious habit. Some start grinding their teeth at a young age in response to pain during teething. Others may be responding to pain from an earache. For some babies, they are entertained by the sound of it! The vast majority of children will outgrow this habit by the time they get through elementary school, although some will continue grinding into adulthood. For some kids, it can be a sign of potential airway issues. Your dentist will help assess if your child needs additional examination for airway problems.

If you’re noticing your teenage child grinds their teeth at night, they probably have no clue they’re even doing it! By this point, your child should be past the age of teething (don’t forget about the twelve year molars and wisdom teeth-”teething” extends into teenage years!), and they’re most likely responding to stress or tension. You may also notice that your child suffers from headaches or occasional jaw pain, which can also be caused by clenching and grinding. The long term effects of grinding may include sensitivity or even tooth fractures.

Once your child has all of their permanent teeth, your dentist may recommend a night guard to help protect teeth from grinding. It’s also important to identify potential sources of stress, and work on healthy mechanisms to reduce it!

It’s always important to schedule regular dental appointments. Make sure to mention if you have any concern about your child grinding their teeth. The dentist will examine for potential causes, determine if there is any damage from grinding, and discuss various treatment options.

Kids Health | Nemours

American Academy of Sleep Medicine |

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