Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common problem for kids. It can cause extra wear on their teeth that will mean extra trips to the dentist. It’s not unusual for children to grind their teeth at night. According to the acclaimed Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, it’s estimated that around 3 in 10 children grind their teeth.
Although teeth grinding in kids is common, it’s still a problem that must be addressed. If it’s not taken care of in a timely fashion, children can suffer from long term issues such as:
- Thinning of their tooth enamel
- Grinding down the structure of the tooth
- Tooth cracking or fracturing
- Tooth loss
Thankfully, there are some simple remedies to help your child with bruxism. Here at Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas, we treat many children who are afflicted by teeth grinding. By working together with our patients and their parents, we’ve achieved great success in helping kids overcome their teeth grinding issues. Here are a few tips from our staff to help support kids that grind their teeth:
1. Check in with your child about their stress levels
Often times, children may unwittingly grind their teeth because of the stressful situations they are experiencing. Teeth grinding becomes the outlet to relieve some of their tension without them even realizing it. If you notice your child clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth on a regular basis, have a frank talk with them about their current stress levels at school or at home. Helping them learn to cope with the difficulties of life may also allow them to curtail teeth grinding.
2. Reduce caffeine and increase water
A child can often get “amped up” from drinking too much soda or coffee. As they drink more caffeine, their body revs into high gear, which sometimes can cause teeth grinding. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water and to keep coffee and soda as a rare treat. Not only will this help with their teeth grinding issue, but it will help improve their overall health.
3. Keep them from chewing ice or foreign objects
Many children absent-mindedly chew on ice, or objects like pens, or pencils during the day. This bad habit is not only harmful to their enamel, but it also incites the habit of teeth grinding in kids if they don’t have ice or something to chew on available.
If your child has a tendency to chew foreign objects, teach them to place the tip of their tongue between their upper and lower teeth. This exercise will help keep them from grinding their teeth and help them relax their jaw at the same time.
4. Schedule regular visits to the pediatric dentist
If you have concerns about your child grinding their teeth at night or even during the day, you should bring it up to the pediatric dentist at their next semi-annual exam and cleaning. Their dentist will check to see if their teeth show any long-term damage, and will give you and your child advice on how to stop this bad habit.
If you live in the Las Vegas area, schedule a convenient appointment at your neighborhood Children’s Dentistry office. We accept most forms of dental insurance, including Medicaid. We also offer full-service orthodontic treatment using the latest technology like Invisalign.
Contact us today for your appointment to stop teeth grinding in your kids with the care of a pediatric professional.