Posted .

Why does my child grind their teeth? Are they damaging their teeth? How can I stop them from doing this? These are common questions many parents may ask if their child has bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching). Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have.

Why does my child grind their teeth?

If you child grinds their teeth (especially in their sleep) then you aren’t alone. Bruxism is very common in children because their mouth is in a constant state of change. This results in irritation of the mouth, which then results in grinding or clenching. Some of the causes of bruxism in kids may include:

  • Eruption of baby and permanent teeth.
  • Crooked teeth or another irritation in the mouth.
  • Allergy or illness
  • Dehydration
  • Stress/anxiety (though this cause is more common in adults than children)

Is my child damaging their teeth?

Chronic bruxism can be a cause for concern in adults because it could damage teeth and even the jaw. In children, however, bruxism usually doesn’t result in problems. Often, children do not need treatment because their mouth is in a state of change and any damage to teeth is to the baby teeth that will soon fall out. And unlike adults, kids usually grow out of bruxism. But if your child is experiencing severe pain or tooth wear from teeth grinding, then you should see your dentist.

How can I stop my child from grinding their teeth?

If you feel teeth grinding and clenching is a problem with your child, then your dentist can recommend a solution.

  • Night Guard: This is a mouth guard worn while you sleep. It has a smooth surface that stops grinding damage and holds the mouth so your teeth won’t clench.
  • Relaxation: Though stress isn’t as common of a cause for bruxism in children as it is with adults, it is still a possibility. Your dentist may recommend that your child do relaxation exercises before they sleep.
  • Drink Water: If your dentist thinks that dehydration may be the cause of your child’s bruxism, then the solution is obvious: have your child drink plenty of water each day.