Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) is a type of medical condition when you grind or clench your teeth. Teeth grinding might seem to be normal, but it becomes a problem when it happens frequently. This can wear down the protective layers of the teeth enamel, giving room to certain dental problems.
Teeth grinding in children is very common, if your child always move her mouth constantly while sleeping. This constant movement is usually accompanied with cracking or grinding sounds coming from continuous rubbing of the teeth. This is a sign that your child grinds her teeth, and there are ways that you can help her stop.
Remember, it’s not only children that have bruxism, adults can have it too. My aim of writing this post is to show you how to stop your child from teeth grinding, especially at night. If you are an adult and you grind, you can also follow some of the steps here in order to put a stop to bruxism. Within few seconds from now, I will reveal this steps, but before that, I would like us to look at those things that causes bruxism.
The exact causes teeth grinding in children is not known, but we try to look at the possible reasons behind this. A child may grind when she is stressed or when she’s in pain. Misaligned teeth, cerebral palsy and certain medications are also likely to cause bruxism. In this post, I will not go into details on the causes of bruxism. I published a post earlier revealing certain things that can make your child to grind or clench. You can check out causes of teeth grinding in children here.
Steps To Stop Teeth Grinding At Night
According to studies, children usually begin teeth grind when they are just 6 months old. Stress is the number one suspect that is more likely to cause teeth grinding. I have seen many posts talking about how stress can lead to bruxism, I also mentioned it as one of the causes of bruxism. How a child can get stressed is a question that most parents find hard and confusing.
Stress is so common among the adults, but for children some things although little can stress them. It’s important that you should understand that stress can cause bruxism, finding out ways to keep your little one relaxed can be a lasting solution. This are some effective strategies that can help stop bruxism in children :
1. Create a peaceful environment : You should try to help your child develop a kind of calmness and peaceful feeling. The looks and feel of your chids bedroom can define how your child sleeps well. Room with dim light and cool temperature can help your child sleep well. Sleeping on a comfortable bed can also make your child sleep better. Consider changing the bed when your child has outgrown hers.
2. Set up bed time routine : Like I said earlier, teeth grinding in children can be caused by stress. You should set out time that you will use to Interact with your child at bedtime. You should never allow TV, computer or video games take your place, helping your child feel relaxed before sleep each night can help reduce bruxism. Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime, includes relaxation activities such as : singing lullabies, listening to soothing music, bedtime story telling, reading a book or talking a warm bath each night.
3. Food and drinks regulation : During bedtime it’s not advisable that you give your child foods or drinks that contain caffeine. I wouldn’t suggest that you give your child cough medicines or decongestants either, stimulants should be kept away during bedtime. Sodas, coffee or chocolates taken at bedtime can cause bruxism. This type of foods and drinks release chemicals that blocks the formation of hormones that can make your child sleep better.
4. Apply warm wet towel : It’s very common that kids experience jaw muscles contractions while they sleep. When the contractions becomes too frequent and strong, it can result to teeth grinding at night. You can help relax your child’s jaw muscles by directing good blood flow to her jaws. If your child is already experiencing frequent grinding, you should consider carrying out this particular step.
Each night you will need to get some warm water and a small towel. Dip your towel into the warm water to soak up some water, ensure to test it first on your skin to make sure that the water is not hot. If the temperature is good enough, place the soaked towel on your child’s jaw and hold for few minutes. This creates a good blood flow on your child’s jaw, it also creates a relaxing effects on the jaw muscles.
5. Get a mouth guard : The methods I listed above is supposed to help reduce the grinding. If it did not bring the grinding to a total stop, getting a mouth guard would be a great idea. Teeth grinding can actually wear down the teeth enamel, although the process is very slow. The primary benefit of a mouth guard is to provide protection to the teeth enamel. It prevents the upper and lower teeth from gliding against each other, preventing teeth grinding.
6. Stop child from chewing stuffs : It common that many kids develop the habit of chewing on anything they can lay their hands on. This habit is not good for their teeth, neither is bruxism. Constant chewing on gums, nails, pencil or anything at all can make your child’s jaw clench subconsciously. You should keep gums away from your child, this can make her bruxism worse.
7. Consult A Physician : Children experience lots of anxiety, through proper medical check-up you can determine the actual underlying causes of teeth grinding in children. After close personal observation, if you notice that your child is suffering from sleeping disorder, you can consult a child pediatrician or even a sleep specialist. Your dentist can recommend a proper mouth guard for your child, if there is any need for one. There are also stress relieving medications and other medical treatments available for bruxism.
There is high rate of teeth grinding in children, it usually begins immediately their teeth starts to develop. The cracking sounds alone can make any caring parent to worry, but there are solutions to this. To stop bruxism there are so many options available, you can apply the solutions that I listed on this article. Help from a physician can be necessary if there are no improvements.
You can share your experience with us by using the comments box below, also share this post to your friends.