Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can be a painful condition and one that’s very detrimental to the future health of your child’s teeth. If you suspect that they are grinding their teeth, there are some specific warning signs you should look for to know for sure and then some specific steps to take to help them.
What to Look For
Teeth grinding will occur while the child is sleeping, so at times it’s very easy to know if the problem is happening by simply watching them or checking in while they’re in bed. Visible telltale signs that you should be on the lookout for include an overly tight jaw and teeth that re visibly warn down.
If you haven’t seen these signs in your children, pay attention their complaints. Frequent, sudden, and unexplained headaches are often associated with teeth grinding. Sensitivity is another complaint to be on the look out for. If your child has complained of either of these things, or you’ve seen the visual evidence, keep a close eye on them at night.
Bruxism is usually a result of improper alignment, jaw or gum pain, and excessive stress and tension. Many children will grow out of this in time without incurring long-lasting damage. But, in many cases protective mouth gear can help prevent the grinding itself, and working to fix improperly aligned teeth will also alleviate the problem.
If the grinding is the result of stress and anxiety, the best course of action might be to sit down with your child and make sure that they are feeling all right. Helping them to feel open and expressive will relieve the tension that leads to this painful situation.
If you suspect teeth grinding and have seen these signs, discuss the best options with your pediatric dentist. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action to help break them of this habit and prevent and long-term damage.