My Child Grinds His Teeth. What Can I Do?

If you have thought that teeth grinding happens only in adults during sleep, then you are very wrong because the condition is surprisingly rampant in children, especially those below the age of five. Commonly known as bruxism, teeth grinding and clenching is even worse in children.  It may be more easily noticeable in young sufferers than in adult counterparts. Here, the cause can be anything from malocclusion, tooth misalignment, stress, or just a bad habit of your child. The best thing about bruxism is that, with many children, it naturally vanishes, although the condition can still be a painful affair for your child.  The following are some steps that can help to alleviate the condition. Treating bruxism in children Remain alert- The first step to treat bruxism in your child, is to realize that he has the condition. Since teeth grinding and clenching usually happens during sleep, complaints about sore jaws and headaches in the morning could be clear indicators. Bruxism could also be a possibility when your child bites the inside of the cheek, sucks thumbs or even makes harsh noises during sleep. Be aware of stressful issues- Research studies that have been carried out associate teeth grinding and clenching with stress and tension. For this reason, take time to talk with your child to find out if there is something bothering him. Resolving such issues early can be adequate treatment for the condition. You will need to schedule a visit with the pediatric dentist if your child continues complaining of pain or experiences damaged teeth. The dentist will make a custom fit mouth-guard for your child that will prevent further damage of the teeth and help reduce the pain. Make instructions- You probably know that children sample everything with their mouths. Instruct your child not to chew on hard items such as pens, toothpicks and such; he should not chew gum either. Such hard items will customize your child to clenching, which will subsequently cause bruxism. Before bedtime, place a warm cloth on his face and around the ears to relax the muscles. Provide plenty of drinking water, and teach your child bed time relaxation techniques, such as relaxing in a hot shower, deep breathing and stretching. Dr. Peter Hazim has treated many such conditions, and will gladly answer any questions you may have about eliminating your child’s bruxism. Please call us at (972) 727-5599. We are conveniently located at 105 N. Alma Drive, Suite 100 in Allen, Texas.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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