Children are under a surprising amount of stress these days – from school work to activities to after school jobs, it can be difficult for a child to maintain a sense of balance. It turns out that teeth grinding in children is actually pretty common and has a lot of different causes. If you suspect your child is dealing with bruxism (the medical term for teeth-grinding), this post will get you up to speed on what it is, why it happens, and how you can help them deal with it so they can get back to being kids!
Causes of Teeth Grinding in Children
Teeth grinding is usually caused by stress or anxiety, but it can also be a result of improper sleep habits or clenching the jaw during sleep. When people clench their jaws while asleep or awake, it puts pressure on the teeth and causes them to shift position and eventually wear down over time. This can cause problems with jaw alignment and tooth misalignment that might not be visible at first glance but will cause issues later on if left untreated.
Damage to teeth and smiles in children
Teeth grinding in children, also known as bruxism, can cause serious damage to a child’s smile. It can also cause damage to their teeth and jaw, as well as ear pain, headaches and neck pain.
Sleep problems are one of the most common causes of bruxing for children. Sleep-disordered breathing such as snoring or sleep apnea can result in an increase in tooth grinding frequency during sleep. Other factors include stress from school or home life that may lead your child to grind his/her teeth more often at night time when he/she is tired from a long day of learning new things or dealing with stressful situations at home or work respectively which makes it harder for them to fall asleep naturally because their brain is so active due to all these thoughts running through their mind about everything happening throughout their day.
Bruxism can be caused by anxiety or stress
The most common causes for teeth grinding are anxiety and stress. It’s a vicious cycle: you’re anxious about something, so you grind your teeth in an attempt to relieve the tension. The more you grind your teeth, the more anxious you become because of how much it hurts and how much it affects your appearance. See where this is going?
Talk to your child about what might be causing their anxiety and work with their school nurse or guidance counselor on methods for dealing with it. The school nurse is usually the best person to talk to about this, because they will know what kinds of activities and exercises your child can do to help relax and cope with their stress. If you’re not sure where else to start, consider these tips:
Talk about how much the grinding is bothering them. You don’t want your child pushing through a problem if it’s getting worse and worse!
Suggest that they try relaxation techniques at home before going to sleep at night (e.g., deep breathing, meditation). These will help keep things manageable until we’ve found a solution that works best for everyone involved—including mommy!
If you notice your child grinding his or her teeth, don’t ignore it
The good news is that teeth grinding in children is a very treatable problem. Here’s why:
- Grinding can cause serious damage to your child’s mouth and jaw. In fact, it can even lead to malocclusion (crooked teeth).
- It may cause night-time sleep problems for your child and/or you. If he or she does not get enough sleep at night, there are higher chances of behavioral problems during the day—including tantrums and meltdowns!
- In some cases, teeth grinding also causes ear infections due to fluid buildup in the ear canal caused by drainage from irritated tissues inside the mouth if left untreated long enough without treatment (this happens when grinder teeth grind against each other so hard enough that bone chips are produced).
The easiest solution is a mouthguard to protect against the damage that grinding does to teeth
A mouthguard can help protect against the damage that grinding does to teeth. Mouth guards for bruxism are a great way to help your child get the rest they need. Bruxism is a condition that causes children to grind their teeth. The only way to know if your child is suffering from bruxism is to have them undergo an examination by a dentist or doctor. The dentist will be able to make a appropriate night mouth guard that fits perfectly into the shape of your child’s mouth and keeps their teeth from grinding together.
How common is bruxism in children?
Bruxism is a common problem among children and adolescents. It’s not uncommon for parents and pediatricians to be unaware of bruxism, or to mistake it for grinding due to teeth clenching.
Bruxism can occur in people of all ages, but it’s most common in children ages 7-12. It usually affects boys more often than girls. Children who grind their teeth may also clench their jaws (clenching), which can lead to headaches, jaw pain and TMJ syndrome (temporomandibular joint disorder).Bruxism affects about 5% of the population during childhood and adolescence — an estimated 3.5 million American kids. The condition tends to run in families; if your child grinds her teeth at night or clenches her jaws during the day, there’s a good chance that your child’s siblings will do so as well.
The severity of bruxism varies from mild to severe. Mild forms are often considered normal behavior for children, but severe cases can cause damage to the teeth and other problems.
The good news is, there are a number of possible causes for teeth grinding in children. Thankfully, many of these can be addressed with a combination of therapy and lifestyle changes. But every child is different, which means that an effective treatment plan for your child might be different from what works for another parent’s child.
It’s important to remember that once you identify the cause (or causes) of your kid’s teeth grinding, addressing the issue will mean making necessary lifestyle changes that may not be popular with the little ones. The good news is that the sooner you can identify the root cause of your son or daughter’s teeth grinding, the sooner you can start working on a solution that will help prevent or stop teeth grinding completely.