October 13, 2019
If your child grinds and clenches their teeth at night, you’re not the only parent that is looking for a remedy. According to the Akron Children’s Hospital, nearly three out of every 10 children have Bruxism. While most of them outgrow this condition, it’s still important to protect their fragile and developing smile from becoming damaged. Your child could be grinding their teeth for a number of reasons, but no matter what the cause is, it’s important for them to visit their children’s dentist in Birmingham for treatment. Read on to learn about what bruxism can do to your little one’s mouth and how to prevent problems from occurring.
What is Bruxism?
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine released that 17 percent of children regularly grind and clench their teeth, and a third of those kids will continue doing it as adults. “Bruxism” is just the medical term for jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Many people develop this habit due to stress, anxiety, or nerves, which is why parents are often concerned why their children are doing it. It can happen as a result of an upcoming important test, arguing family members, or medical conditions such as cerebral palsy. Because it happens while they sleep, it can be difficult to know for sure if they’re doing it and how they can be affected.
How Can You Tell if Your Child is Grinding Their Teeth?
In most cases, bruxism goes unnoticed by parents if their children don’t complain about the effects. However, other little ones often let it be known that they’re experiencing headaches, earaches, and additional symptoms that are arising because of the issue. Here are some signs to keep an eye out for at home:
- Grinding noises while your child is asleep.
- Complaints about a sore jaw in the morning.
- Pain chewing food.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Subtle mouth movements as your child is focusing on a task.
- Worn-down teeth or tooth sensitivity caused by enamel erosion.
Their children’s dentist in Birmingham can examine their mouth to see whether it’s being caused by bite problems or other issues such as stress. From their inspection, they’ll be able to develop a custom treatment plan to protect your little one’s smile.
How Can The Children’s Dentist Treat Bruxism?
Not every case of bruxism is severe, but teeth grinding can cause long-term negative effects on their oral health and increase their risks of developing bite problems, migraines, and other issues if precautionary measures aren’t taken. After being observed by their dentist, they may suggest one of the following treatments:
- Nighttime mouthguards to protect their teeth from coming into contact with each other.
- Dental sealants to protect their tooth enamel and prevent decay.
- Orthodontic treatment to correct misalignment or bite problems.
With early intervention, their children’s dentist will be able to prevent additional problems from occurring and keep their oral health on the right track. Bruxism is often a natural reaction to growth, development, and emotional states, so it can sometimes be impossible to prevent it from occurring, making it even more important to get your child protection to shield their pearly whites.
About the Author
Dr. Angelica Rohner has always been passionate about working with children and even studied early childhood development in her undergrad years. Following her graduation from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry, she completed a two-year residency program in pediatric dentistry at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama and received her advanced degree in pediatric dentistry soon after. She is also specially trained to provide orthodontic treatments to growing smiles to make sure they remain healthy into adulthood. For questions or to schedule an oral examination to see what may be causing your child’s bruxism, visit her website or call 205-870-0892.
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