As a parent, your little one’s health is a primary concern. While you should consider several aspects of their health, their oral health should be at the top of your priorities.

If you think teething and tooth decay are the only things you must watch out for in your kid’s oral health, think again. You may not notice some oral issues even while you’re looking at it, but you more likely need to hear them. If your little one makes a grating, squeaking noise, especially at night, they may unconsciously grind their teeth.   

In this article, you’ll learn the basics of teeth grinding in kids, its causes, symptoms, and effects, and how to stop them from doing it.


Understanding Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is when an individual grinds or clenches their teeth. In medical terms, it’s known as bruxism. Generally, two types of teeth grinding are awake and sleep bruxism.

According to a qualified dentist in Bassendean, teeth grinding and clenching can occur at any age and are common in kids. Different studies revealed that bruxism occurs in 3.5%-49.6% of children, with sleep bruxism being the most prevalent.

If you notice your child grinding their teeth at night or while awake, you should consult a pediatric dentist to help manage the issue.


Symptoms Of Teeth Grinding In Kids

Awake bruxism in kids is easier to spot. You’ll see and hear your kid grinding and clenching their teeth. Typically, they do it unconsciously when feeling frustrated or concentrating.

Meanwhile, sleep bruxism is more challenging to identify unless they share a bedroom with you or a sibling. There are signs and symptoms you should look out for to determine this underlying issue. These include the following:

  • Teeth grinding noises
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Fatigued, tight, or swollen jaw muscles
  • Face, jaw, or neck pain or soreness
  • Headaches and earaches
  • Worn tooth enamel, which exposes the deeper layers of the tooth
  • Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of the cheek
  • A locked jaw that won’t open or close


Causes Of Teeth Grinding In Kids

The causes of teeth grinding in kids are not always clear. However, it’s usually linked to psychological and emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, sleep problems, and mental health disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Teeth grinding may also occur due to pain. Experts believe that infants and toddlers may engage in bruxism to soothe pain and discomfort associated with teething or the growth of permanent teeth. In addition, bruxism may occur due to common dental problems in kids, such as misaligned teeth or those wearing fixed orthodontic appliances.


Negative Effects Of Teeth Grinding

Although teeth grinding is common, you shouldn’t disregard the habit, especially if it occurs regularly. Generally, bruxism can increase the risk of developing:

  • Sleep issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Teeth and gum problems

In addition, the sounds produced by clenching and grinding teeth can also cause sleep disruptions for their siblings or other companions in the bedroom.


How To Stop Teeth Grinding In Kids?

While some cases of bruxism are mild and eventually stop, don’t wait to see if your kid grows out of the habit. If teeth grinding continues for days, schedule a dental checkup right away. Your kid’s dentist can diagnose adequately and suggest the best treatment possible.   

Generally, the dentist may require your child to wear a custom mouthguard at night to prevent grinding and clenching. In most cases, a mouthguard is enough to treat bruxism in kids. However, the habit may return if your kid stops using the guard.

In addition, managing stress may also help reduce teeth grinding in your kid, particularly if there’s a recent change in their environment, such as moving into a new home. Talk to your kid about what may be causing stress and teach them relaxation methods to manage them. If necessary, you can contact a qualified professional for additional support.

Lastly, you should help them establish good sleep hygiene. After all, sleep bruxism is closely tied to sleep quality. So, establish a bedtime routine to set the stage for healthy rest. Also, make their bedroom more suitable for sleeping by ensuring it’s dark, cool, and quiet. Remove any electronic devices that can disrupt their sleep cycle. You can also encourage reading them bedtime stories or playing soft music to lull them to sleep.

Asian lady girl suffering from bruxism while lying in bed at night,female grinding of the teeth during sleep,teeth clenching,sleep disorders,oral health problems,dental care,sleep bruxism concept


As reassuring as it is to know that teeth grinding is common, hearing them grind their teeth unconsciously while awake or asleep can be alarming. If left untreated, it can have some severe complications. Consider the tips above to prevent your kid from grinding their teeth. A visit to the pediatric dentist can help your child get a restful night’s sleep without grinding their teeth and promote good oral health.



Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


© Copyright 2011-2024 Buggybuddys Pty Ltd. All rights reserved


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?