It’s no fun hearing the sound of your child grinding their teeth and at Park Lane Orthodontics in Reading, Berkshire, we’re used to parents raising concerns about their kids teeth grinding so we thought it would be useful to blog about some of the frequently asked questions and concerns raised about children’s teeth grinding or, Bruxism, as it’s known in the dental and orthodontic profession.
Bruxism is actually quite common in kids, it’s estimated as much as 30% of children suffer from bruxism at some point in their childhood and most outgrow it by the time their permanent teeth come in. That said, it’s a legitimate worry for parents so here’s what we think, at Park Lane Orthodontics, on children who grind their teeth.
Why is my child grinding teeth?
Misaligned Teeth. In some cases, kids may grind because the top and bottom teeth aren’t aligned properly.
Pain. As we rub a sore muscle so children grind teeth as a way to ease pain from things like teething or earache.
Stress. Environmental factors can trigger emotions like anger and nervous tension. It’s worth considering if anything has recently changed in your child’s behaviour or immediate environment. Starting a new school, parents divorcing, lessons via zoom, falling out with friends and siblings can all be causes of stress in children.
Personality Types & Medical Conditions. Bruxism is commonly seen in kids with a hyperactive, over-competitive or aggressive personality. It’s also been linked with ADHD, autism, epilepsy, GERD & cerebral palsey.
What are the negative effects of children grinding teeth?
Although most kids out-grow teeth grinding there’s levels of pain and discomfort that may warrant some form of dental treatment for bruxism.
What is the treatment for a child who is grinding their teeth?
If your child is suffering from grinding their teeth and it’s causing frequent earaches or headaches, damaged teeth or facial pain we may suggest fitting a mouthguard or, night guard, as it is sometimes known. Mouthguards hold the jaw in a certain position and can provide a barrier to minimize tooth damage from grinding. Some mouthguards also place the jaw in a slightly open position, allowing the facial muscles used for chewing to relax all night. Mouth guards may go over the full set of top or bottom teeth or in some cases just cover a smaller section of your child’s mouth.
If the cause of your child’s bruxism is stress-related and this is leading to feelings of fear, anger and tension then parents can help alleviate this by talking with their child. Sometimes children just need some reassurance and simply by listening to their concerns, symptoms of bruxism can be relieved.
If your child is hyperactive or suffering from any of the medical conditions mentioned above then a relaxing bedtime routine may help as night time is often when children grind their teeth.
We hope you find this blog useful and informative.
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