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Have you heard your child grinding their teeth while they sleep? This condition is called bruxism, and it is actually very common in children. In fact, about a third of children experience bruxism, starting when they are five-years-old until they grow out of it when they are about ten. Some common causes of bruxism include:

  • Malocclusion (misaligned teeth that cause a bad bite)
  • Stress or anxiety
  • A reaction to medication
  • Problems with the TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
  • A bad habit
  • Medical conditions
  • Hyperactivity

These factors may result in your child grinding and clenching their teeth while they sleep. However, since children usually grow out of bruxism, they normally do not require treatment, especially seeing as this condition does not harm their permanent teeth. However, if a child suffers from jaw pain, headaches, chipped teeth, and sensitivity as a result of chronic grinding, then you may want to try some of these treatment options:

  • Ease your child’s anxiety by helping them to relax before bed (you could play soothing music, give them a warm bath, reduce stimuli, etc.)
  • Ask our dental team if your child might benefit from a night guard or orthodontic treatment
  • Determine what triggers your child’s anxiety and remove it

If you would like to learn more about bruxism, then call our office today.