Is Teeth Grinding Normal in Children?

Kid Friendly Dentist McLean, VA

Teeth grinding is common in young children. Although infants and toddlers usually outgrow the condition by adolescence, that is not always the case. As a parent, you should look for signs of bruxism throughout your child’s development. If your kids continue to clench their teeth into early adolescence, it is a red flag.

The problem at this point becomes less common and more of a significant issue. Despite its normalcy, bruxism can still cause problems for your young ones. They might have trouble sleeping while clenching their teeth, and they might even wake up with earaches and headaches. If you are concerned about the well-being of your child, you should consult with a dentist about bruxism in kids.

Why do children suffer from teeth grinding?

During the toddler stage, children can have a lot of stress and anxiety. Bruxism can be a subconscious response to this psychological and emotional discomfort. Sometimes, bruxism occurs for a biological reason. If a child has a combination of baby teeth and permanent teeth, it can become habitual to grind them together.

The child is expected to outgrow the condition once the baby teeth are gone and replaced with permanent teeth. The habit is common during sleep while children lose full control of their mouth muscles. Child development affects health across the board. Teeth grinding is no different.

When do toddlers outgrow bruxism?

Toddlers are expected to outgrow bruxism by adolescence. Once baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth, the night teeth clenching should resolve itself. If the problem persists, the cause could be more significant. For example, the child might have developed an overbite or underbite, which could cause bruxism to continue.

In other cases, the child suffers from stress or anxiety. This scenario points to more severe emotional problems. Parents should consult with a dental professional for an accurate diagnosis. Contacting a dentist can be the first step to define the nature and cause of bruxism in a child.

When parents should worry about bruxism

Bruxism in toddlers is not uncommon, but it can lead to other issues that should be addressed. For example, a toddler that suffers from bruxism-induced headaches is going to be in regular discomfort. A parent should worry if the child has daily headaches, toothaches and deterioration of gum tissue. If bruxism is so severe that the child cannot sleep at all, parents should consider it a severe case.

Contact your local dentist

Teeth grinding is common in toddlers but is expected to subside by adolescence. The causes of bruxism vary. Most toddlers experience it because of anxiety, stress and the development of new teeth. Even though it is common, cases can be severe enough to require measures of relief.

If your child suffers from headaches, earaches and loss of sleep, it could be time to address the problem. Sleep deprivation can impact other parts of your child’s health, and yours as well. You can research the topic online but that will not be enough. It is ideal to consult with your local dentist who can provide a personalized diagnosis for your toddler.

Request an appointment here: or call Oak Tree Dental at (703) 763-5239 for an appointment in our McLean office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Kid Friendly Dentist in McLean, VA.

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