How to Stop Toddlers From Grinding Their Teeth

Grinding teeth is common in toddlers and small children, who have developing mouths and new teeth. Grinding teeth even has a name: bruxism.

This condition usually goes away on its own, but sometimes it is a sign of a more serious medical issue. Keep reading to learn why children grind their teeth and steps you can take to provide care and prevent damage.

Why Is Grinding Teeth Common in Toddlers? 

Between 15% and 30% of toddlers grind their teeth. This behavior is most common at two times in a child’s life—when they receive their baby teeth and then again when permanent teeth start to grow. After these stages pass, tooth grinding usually fades away in frequency.

Sometimes, grinding teeth in one’s sleep may last beyond childhood. When this is the case, there is often a deeper underlying problem that should be addressed by a dental professional.

Medical Reasons for Bruxism in Children

Many unrelated conditions can cause teeth grinding in toddlers. These health issues can include: 

  • Stress
  • Breathing issues such as sleep apnea 
  • Abnormal bite
  • Poor jaw posture
  • Jaw strain
  • Mouth developmental issues

 Children and toddlers may be diagnosed through a sleep study to rule out any airway issues causing teeth grinding.

Symptoms of Excessive Teeth Grinding

In addition to causing damage to developing teeth, toddlers who grind their teeth can experience symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches ,and TMD (also known as lock jaw).

Sometimes, children are fitted with a mouth guard to reduce the amount of harm grinding does to teeth. If your child’s teeth look worn or he or she complains of tooth pain, schedule an appointment with a dental professional right away.

Schedule Your Toddler’s First Dental Visit

Your child should visit the dentist for the first time at one year of age or as soon as they get their first tooth. This is especially true if your toddler is grinding his or her teeth.

Kool Smiles is a dental care provider designed specifically with children in mind. Our offices are set up to create a pleasant experience for young patients, with wide open waiting areas, indoor playgrounds in most locations, and friendly dental professionals who love working with kids.

Best of all, Kool Smiles is affordable. We accept most major dental insurance providers including Medicare and TRICARE. Getting quality dental care for your child has never been so easy.

Find a Kool Smiles location near you and call us today to schedule an appointment for your child. Don’t let your toddler’s teeth grinding go untreated.

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Sources:  

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism?page=2

Medicine Net: http://www.medicinenet.com/teeth_grinding_bruxism/article.htm