Have you detected what sounds like an animal gnashing its teeth coming from your toddler’s bed at night? It may be Bruxism. The disorder of Bruxism, often called ‘teeth grinding,’ is a habit of grinding teeth instinctively and is somewhat common in both adults and kids. Children usually grind their teeth while sleeping and this difficulty usually develops when the kid’s teeth do not grow normally.
Why your little one grinds his or her teeth?
The inclination towards teeth grinding is observed in kids usually below the age of 7-8. Once the permanent teeth of the child start to hit the roof of the mouth, a child gradually stops grinding their teeth. The bites of children under age 6 are very flexible and change as they grow. Most often, kids will exhibit the abnormal bite by means of teeth grinding because of such placement of their teeth.
Most recent studies portray that sleep disturbances can be a cause behind Bruxism and can lead to several other troubles like drooling, bed wetting and talking while sleeping. It is best to consult a dentist to be acquainted with the exact reason behind your kid’s teeth grinding habit.
How to stop it?
Following are a few tips to stop your kid from grinding his/her teeth:
- Bruxism is caused by stress, and it is best to alleviate your child’s stress, especially before going to bed to prevent teeth grinding.
- When you spot the child grinding his/her teeth in the day time, stop him/her by indulging them in some other activity like eating or talking.
- It is also beneficial to give your child a good massage or make him/her do some stretching exercises. This will relax the muscles and help provide a good night sleep.
- Dehydration is commonly linked with teeth grinding behavior in children, so ensure your child drinks plenty of liquids as a part of his/her daily diet.
- Consulting a dentist is a must to judge, prevent and stop the practice of teeth grinding in kids.
Why a visit to the dentist is a must
Other than evaluating the precise cause behind the teeth grinding practice in your child, a dentist will vigilantly examine your little one’s teeth and overall dental health. A dentist can inform you of the damages caused to the tooth enamel due to Bruxism, and other health issues caused by it. It is crucial that you explain to your dentist how frequent the tooth grinding occurs. After studying your case thoroughly, your dental care professional might suggest you utilize suitable dental devices or medications to stop teeth grinding in your child. In most cases, use of a night guard is recommended by pediatric dentists.
This post was written by Dana Smith, a dental blogger, and associate for the Pediatric Dentist Association in Anchorage, Alaska.
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