What to Do about Tooth Grinding in Kids
Although bruxism may seem like a problem that only affects adults, it is completely possible for children of all ages to develop the tooth grinding disorder. When infants and toddlers start to teeth, it is common for them to bite down to try and relieve the pain. In some instances, children may continue to do this once the teeth have come in and the pain has gone away. Anxiety is another possible reason why a child may grind their teeth. There is also some evidence that breathing issues caused by allergies or physiological defects may contribute to bruxism in kids. If you believe your child is suffering from bruxism, there are a few steps you should take to treat it.
The first step is taking your child to a pediatric dentist. The dentist will be able to either confirm your suspicions or allay your concerns. In many instances, a dentist will simply monitor a child at first. The reason for this is bruxism sometimes goes away on its own. If it continues, the dentist may ask you to try and replace their tooth grinding habit with a healthier coping mechanism. This sort of treatment is particularly useful when anxiety is thought to be the cause. In other instances, the dentist may design a special night guard to be worn by your child in order to protect their teeth.
While a little bit of tooth grinding in their early years should not create any long-term health concerns for your child, over time tooth grinding can cause teeth to become worn down, fractured, and vulnerable to tooth decay. That is why it is best to try and break the habit as soon as possible.
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