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Children and Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding and Kids

What is Bruxism?

Girls huggingBruxism, or teeth grinding, is used to describe the grinding of teeth as well as clenching of the jaw. Parents who have children that grind or clench are naturally worried about the effect it can have on their health. At Albany Place Dental Practice, we’re here to provide you with solutions to teeth grinding and kids in Albany Creek.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it a common issue?

    Teeth grinding is a common childhood problem. Fortunately, it’s usually just a phase that will be outgrown. Estimates are made that 20-30% of children grind or clench. Most aren’t aware of their habit as it’s done primarily during sleeping hours. It usually occurs between the ages of 3-6. If you notice problems such as snoring, gasping, choking or loud breathing along with clenching or grinding, visit your GP to eliminate that they have sleep apnoea.

  • Why do children grind their teeth?

    There is some debate as to the cause of bruxism. It may be in response to teething pain, earaches and a misalignment of the top and bottom teeth. Stress is another common cause. If your child is having difficulties in school, has a tough time concentrating or something in their home situation has changed, they may be more likely to grind or clench.

    Dummies or pacifiers are another likely source. Children who have used these become used to their jaw moving in a circular motion, resulting in rotating their jaw even after they’ve been weaned off their dummy.

    Certain medications may cause teeth grinding, and genetics are thought to play a role.

  • Does teeth grinding cause serious damage?

    It’s supported by the Dental Health Services of Victoria that kids who grind or clench don’t cause teeth damage. There is always an exception, however, and in some cases teeth can wear down or even loosen. A child’s teeth may be more sensitive as enamel wears away from grinding. Headaches, gum pain, earaches, and pain the jaws and teeth can also result.

Other Possible Considerations

There are many other possibilities that may be worthy of investigation to see if they alleviate your child’s bruxism.

If there are signs of stress or something has happened to you child, you can help by making every effort to keep your child relaxed and comfortable before and when they’re asleep. Warm baths, supportive chats and reading a favourite bedtime story are all great ideas.

If you can rule out stress, a GP visit might be in order to eliminate the possibility of earaches or other pains that can cause bruxism.

Teeth Grinding Treatment Options for Children

If you’re aware that your child has a problem, we recommend booking them in for an appointment so that we can assess any damage and the potential cause of their bruxism. To learn more about teeth grinding and kids in Albany Creek, contact us today!

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