Does your child grind their teeth at night? Many parents consider getting grind guards for their kid’s teeth to preventing grinding. As a pediatric dentist, our staff is often asked about grind guards and whether or not we think specific kids should use them. There are a few things to consider when deciding to buy a grind guard; including how frequently your child grinds their teeth, symptoms of teeth grinding, and potential damage caused by teeth grinding.
Bruxism is the technical definition for when a person grinds their teeth. IT can happen voluntarily or involuntarily. It is actually very common in young kids and often happens while they sleep. For most people, infrequently grinding your teeth is nothing to worry about. It is only when teeth grinding happens often that damage can be done. Many kids grow out of it over time. Bruxism is associated with anger or stress, but it is also caused by misaligned teeth that cause an uneven bite. If a teenager or adult has issues with teeth grinding, they should see a dentist or orthodontist.
There are a variety of signs and symptoms for teeth grinding. Usually, the most common way that parents find out is because of the sound it makes. If children grind their teeth at night, it may wake their sibling if they share a room, and parents may hear it if they check in on their kids. Bruxism also causes a few symptoms. Headaches and jaw pain are both very common symptoms that your child has been grinding their teeth. If your child has toothaches, frequent jaw pain, and headaches when they wake up in the morning, it might be time to bring them to a dentist.
Over time bruxism can cause some serious problems. It will lead to tooth pain and can also lead to insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep). Bruxism is not necessarily an issue if it is happening infrequently, however, if your child experiences symptoms of bruxism on a regular basis, they should make a dental appointment. A grind guard is one of many effective ways to treat bruxism. In some cases, it is more effective to get corrective braces to realign teeth.
If you have questions about dental health for your little ones, or you are looking to make a dental appointment, please send us a message through our online contact form. A member of our team would be happy to answer you or your child’s questions and help them improve their daily dental habits.