Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a problem in kids as it is in adults.Bruxism is the unconscious habit of grinding one’s teeth. In adults, it is usually caused by stress. Kids rarely become under stress. But it does happen. In kids, bruxism usually occurs in their sleep. Parents need not be concerned about bruxism. It is a rather common condition in kids.
Kids suffer from bruxism because their baby teeth are not growing normally. Dentists think it is because of some problems in the kid’s bite. Most of the time, the set of your kid’s baby teeth doesn’t match with one another. As result, they clench their teeth unconsciously either during the day or during the night.
Right now, dentists still don’t know for sure the exact reason for teeth grinding. But theories like the bite problem have long been used as an explanation for it. Again, bruxism caused by stress in kids can’t be discounted. While it is not very frequent, kids could get stressed out from piling schoolwork, tests, and pressures from other kids. Some kids don’t take anxiety as well as others. And they tend to let out their worries through their actions. It is not unlikely that they release stress through teeth clenching.
Teeth grinding in kids don’t really pose much of a health concern. Bruxism may directly cause damage to the teeth’s enamel. However, your kid will eventual outgrow all his baby tooth. It would all be replaced by a new set. If bruxism continues after the permanent set of teeth had grown, that’s where the problem begins. That’s the time to have teeth grinding professionally addressed.
If the kid’s bruxism were caused by improper teeth alignment, then the problem would also be solved when your kid’s set of teeth renews. However, some parents are getting concerned about the teeth grinding sound their kids make. It is especially bothersome during the night, especially if the child shares a room with another sibling.
Dentist doesn’t really have to do much about teeth grinding in kids. It is common belief that they would eventually outgrow the problem. However, there are instances when teeth grinding becomes too extreme and it causes other physical problems like face sore, headaches, and sore jaws. These are rare cases but again, they may happen. And if the teeth grinding symptoms appear on your child, it’s time to take him to the dentist.
The dentist will perform a thorough examination on your child’s tooth. He will check if there were damages on the teeth’s enamel. The dentist has to be sure if the headaches are really caused by bruxism. The dentist may also ask a series of health questions both to the child and his parent. It is important to let the dentist know how frequent the instances of teeth grinding happens.
There are different ways to address bruxism in kids. In adults, corrective surgery may be prescribed. In kids however, there is rarely a need for that. Bruxism in kids is addressed with dental devices like night guards. Night guards are plastic mouth or teeth pieces that are supposed to be worn during the night as the child sleeps. Night guards are usually customized to specifically fit the teeth. There could be ready-to-use night guards available at pharmacies. But it is quite hard to find a perfect match. A perfect match is important because otherwise, the guard might just slip off during sleep, doing nothing to protect the child from teeth clenching.
If you suspect that stress really is the cause of teeth grinding in your child, try to give him a cup of warm milk before bedtime. Help him relax his body and mind by reading him his favorite book. A quick shower or a warm bath would also help much.