Bruxism (teeth grinding) is common among adults and easily identifiable when we wake up with a sore jaw and headaches. However, identifying teeth grinding in children is a bit of a challenge. The fact is that two out of ten kids will clench their teeth or grind. The positive side is that most outgrow this stage of tooth grinding, but in the meantime, it can irritate and agitate children’s jaws.  There are a few ways to distinguish bruxism in your child: If they complain about headaches or a sore jaw in the morning, grinding sounds and clenched jaw when they are sleeping, and also, pain with chewing can be some signs that your child might be grinding their teeth.
There are other side effects that can adversely change your child’s dental health. Nighttime grinding can sometimes wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, cause facial jaw pain and possibly lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disease).  While this is an issue than will most likely be outgrown, it is still better to find ways to decrease nighttime tooth grinding. Stress can be one of the possible contributors. Finding out if you child is upset or stressed about a situation can help resolve the issue. Making the bedtime routine relaxing is another way to combat a night of clenched jaw.
Sometimes it can be more than just stress. If this is the case, your Cosmetic Dental Associate can resolve this issue. Our office can create a perfect and customized night guard for your child. Contact us for an appointment.