Bruxism: Does Your Kid Clench and Grind the Teeth?
Are you awoken by the sound of your kid grinding their teeth together at night, or perhaps you have noticed them clenching their jaws tightly together during sleep? This condition is called bruxism and most often affects adults. However it has been shown up to a third of children will also grind or clench their teeth and may be more likely to do so if you also grind your teeth.
Why Do Kids Clench and Grind Their Teeth?
Most children with bruxism will clench and grind during sleep as this habit tends to be nocturnal in both adults and children. As such it is often a completely subconscious action and many will be totally unaware they are doing this. There are a couple of times when children are more likely to develop this habit and that is when their milk or primary teeth first emerge, or when they are beginning to get their adult teeth. But this habit can also be due to a number of other factors which include:
- Stress or illness
- Incorrectly aligned teeth
- Having some sort of medical condition, for example allergies or having a diet that is deficient in some way
Can Bruxism Damage Their Teeth?
Bruxism in children may not cause lasting damage to their teeth, but it can result in a number of unpleasant symptoms which include headaches and jaw or jaw joint pain. Prolonged clenching and grinding can eventually wear down teeth and your kid might begin to complain about tooth pain or sensitivity so it is important to get this condition treated by a pediatric dentist such as Dr. Marina Krepkh at the Kids Dentistry Center in Brooklyn.
How Is Bruxism Treated?
If your child is diagnosed with bruxism then there are various different types of treatment that can help. Some of the easiest can be tried at home as you can take action to try to calm your child before bedtime. This may take the form of a relaxing warm bath or soothing drink, and just generally making sure they do activities that help them wind down for the day. Get them into the habit of reading or read with them, instead of letting them playing stimulating video games or watching TV and generally establish a regular routine that helps prepare them for sleep. The idea is to make sure your child has as little stress as possible in case this is causing their bruxism. Another thing that can help is to ensure your kid drinks plenty of water throughout the day as this condition has been linked to dehydration. Older children may need to wear a custom-made nightguard that can be supplied by Dr. Marina Krepkh or another of our pediatric dentists in NYC at the Kids Dentistry Center. Your pediatric dentist will take your kid’s age and the severity of their bruxism into account before recommending the most suitable treatment. They may not choose to intervene if your child is of preschool age, but will probably recommend treatment for older children.
It can sound horrible when a child grinds their teeth at night, but just bear in mind that it’s most likely not doing any damage to their teeth. The good news is that most children will soon outgrow this habit.
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)