In Pediatric Dentist Blog

Childhood Bruxism Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments

Have you stopped in your child’s room to check on them before heading to bed only to hear them grinding their teeth? Sleep bruxism, though detrimental to teeth, is common in both children and adults. Teeth grinding is concerning and in order to prevent serious effects from the breakdown of teeth enamel it’s important to bring it up to your local pediatric dentist.

Most of the time your child has no idea they’re grinding their teeth, especially while it’s during their sleep. Signs to watch for are hearing them or noticing damaged or chipped teeth while brushing. Additionally, if your child complains of a sore jaw after waking up or after eating. All of these signs are cause for concern and it doesn’t hurt to schedule an appointment to determine the root of the issue.

There are several contributing factors as to why children grind their teeth in their sleep. Most notably, however, is stress. A great start to helping your child eliminate teeth grinding altogether is to practice calming behaviors and incorporate those into your nighttime routine. This could look like a few minutes or meditation or yoga. This could also be playing slow music and doing deep breathing exercises whatever fits your family and your child.

Sleep hygiene is another contributing factor that can play a major role in teeth grinding. If your child isn’t getting adequate enough sleep whether that means quality or quantity of sleep try to reinforce great sleep behaviors. Ideally toddlers and then children should average around 12 hours of sleep. If you notice your child isn’t getting that eliminate over caffeinated snacks or beverages around bedtime. Try reinforcing good quality sleep habits and a good bedtime routine.

If you have tried to eliminate stress and create good quality sleep habits it may be time to bring the bruxism concerns up to your pediatric dentist. Scheduling an appointment can ensure a thorough look at your child’s teeth to determine what is happening and what the next steps look like. Next steps can include a mouth guard, a night guard, or if the enamel is too far gone dental correction may need to be discussed. Foothills Pediatric Dentistry in Longmont, Thornton, and Lafayette prioritize your child’s oral health and even specialize in sleep care. Have more questions or want to schedule an appointment? We’d love to see your little ones!

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