Teeth Grinding or sleep bruxism is when your child grinds their teeth at night while they sleep. It’s a common habit that most children develop, often as a result of stress, anxiety, or focusing too much energy on one activity. But grinding your teeth can lead to some serious problems down the road. This article shares 10 effective tips on how to stop kids from grinding teeth.
Teeth Grinding can wear away at the tooth enamel, lead to sore jaw, facial pain and in severe cases lead to medical condition like TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction and/or secondary osteoarthritis of the jaw. Many different habits might indicate your child is grinding their teeth. If you think they grind their teeth, the good news is that there are several ways you could help you child. Here are effective tips how to stop grinding teeth in sleep naturally.
10 tips on how to stop kids from grinding teeth
If you have a child who grinds their teeth, you’re not alone. It’s something that happens to many kids, usually around the age of 7 or 8. Grinding (also called bruxism) isn’t harmful on its own, but it can lead to other issues if left untreated. Read on to learn more about how to stop grinding teeth in sleep naturally.
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Talk to your child about their stressors
If your child experiences enough stress or anxiety, they might be grinding their teeth as a coping mechanism. If they grind their teeth at night, they might not even be aware of it. As a parent, you can help your child process their feelings through conversation and by being an open and non-judgmental listener. If your child is putting too much pressure on themselves during sports or academics, if they’re feeling bullied or if something is upsetting them, it can lead to stress, anxiety and grinding, even if your child isn’t aware of it.
Install a mouth guard
If you suspect that your child is grinding their teeth, you can try installing a mouth guard to see if this alleviates the symptoms. If your child plays sports, a mouth guard can protect them from injury and give them added confidence. A mouth guard designed for teeth grinding can help to reduce symptoms, especially if they are grinding their top teeth and/or the back of their teeth.
If your child has TMJ, a mouth guard can be used as a treatment and a preventative tool. A mouth guard can help to ease the pain associated with teeth grinding and wearing down the jaw joint. A mouth guard that is worn at night can protect the teeth and gums from the damage caused by grinding.
Have your child visit the pediatric dentist
If you suspect that your child has TMJ, or experience bruxism has a history of grinding their teeth or has other issues that indicate the onset of tooth wear, you can find a dentist who can fit your child for a mouth guard that should alleviate these symptoms. Your child’s dentist can also assess the condition of their baby teeth, permanent teeth, gums and jaw and advise you on how best to proceed from there.
Your child’s dentist can also help you create an action plan to stop grinding teeth and other teeth cleaning issues. They can also recommend if further evaluation is required to identify the underlying causes or treatments. Your child’s dentist can also help you determine if your child’s teeth grinding is related to a condition like TMJ or if it is a result of a more common dental issue.
Help them practice relaxation techniques
If your child is under a lot of stress, they might be grinding their teeth as a result. Many different relaxation techniques can help to alleviate stress and anxiety, including breathing exercises and meditation. The best way to help them practice relaxation techniques. It is important to identify cause of the stress and add basic stress relievers to routine
Try a breathing exercise with your child
If your child grinds their teeth at night, a breathing exercise might be helpful. Try guiding your child through a breathing exercise before bed and see if this helps to alleviate symptoms. If your child is grinding their teeth, they or might be focusing too much energy on one activity or experiencing emotional problems. Maybe they’re doing too much homework, focusing too much on a sport, or spending too much time on their phone. You can help them to manage their time better by engaging them in a conversation about how to prioritize their activities.
Try a gum massage
If your child grinds their teeth at night, a gum massage might be helpful. You can use your fingers, a toothbrush, or a dental pick to gently massage their gums and the area around their teeth.
Establish a bedtime routine and ritual
If your child is into teeth, you can help them or ease into a relaxed state by establishing a bedtime routine and calming ritual. You can dim the lights, engage them in a calming conversation, read them a book, play music, or try another calming ritual that works for your family. It is a good idea to incorporate a warm bath in their routine to help them relax.
Try a foam-based toothpaste
If your child has nighttime tooth grinding, you can try foam-based toothpaste. This type of toothpaste breaks down slower, so it keeps your child’s mouth clean for a longer period. It is also important to take care of tooth sensitivity.
Try habit reversal therapy
If your child is grinding their teeth at night, you can try habit reversal therapy. This type of therapy involves identifying your child’s undesirable behavior and then coming up with a different response or behavior.
Implement a reward system and sticker chart
If your child has nighttime grinding, you can try implementing a reward system and sticker chart. This might help keep a check on teeth grinding habits.
When it comes to grinding your teeth, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it’s important to recognize the symptoms so that you can address the issue as early as possible. Second, it’s important to find out what triggered the grinding in the first place. Try to identify the common causes behind grinding of teeth, only then can you come up with a plan to stop it for good.
There are so many different habits that can lead to tooth and jaw wear. It’s important for parents to be aware of them so they can help their child. Dental health is vital to the overall health of your child’s teeth and mouth. Early warning signs of oral health problems are dental erosion, tooth sensitivity, difficulty eating, and persistent bad breath and taste. If your child has one or more of these issues, it’s important to schedule an appointment with their dentist or child’s pediatrician as soon as possible to discuss the issue, treatment options and find out if there is any root cause for concern.